Doctors slam health regulator as 'not fit for purpose'

After series of alleged blunders, British Medical Association says it has no confidence in CQC's ability to oversee health services

Embattled health regulator the Care Quality Commission is “not fit for purpose”, leading doctors have said.

The professional association for doctors, the British Medical Association said that it had "no confidence" in the Care Quality Commission's ability to regulate health services.

At the BMA's annual conference in Edinburgh, Dr Mark Corcoran listed a series of alleged blunders by the regulator, including the latest allegations of a cover-up over inspections at a children's hospital in Cumbria and its failure to properly investigate the Winterbourne View care home, where a number of patients were abused by some of the staff.

"It transpires that CQC 'inspected' Winterbourne View three times in the two years prior to May 2011 and judged it to be compliant with essential standards of quality and safety," he said.

"It seems CQC failed to perform its essential duties."

He questioned whether the organisation had changed following the criticism it received in the past.

"Has it changed? Has it heck," he said. "Now, Furness General Hospital - here we go again - this time it appears the CQC may have failed to pinpoint avoidable deaths in the maternity unit.

"But worse still, there is a suggestion that they covered up a report criticising the truth.

"What on earth are CQC playing at? Why do they still exist? How many chances are they going to get? If they were doctors they would have been struck off."

Poor care in the maternity unit at Furness hospital, part of the Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust, may have led to the deaths of 16 babies and two mothers. It is alleged that the CQC suppressed a highly critical internal report into how it inspected Morecambe.

An independent review into the actions of the CQC was initially published with the names of the three officials alleged to be involved in agreeing to suppress the report removed.

After a public outcry, they were named as Cynthia Bower, the former chief executive; Jill Finney, the former deputy chief executive and media manager Anna Jefferson. All three have denied any role in the alleged cover-up.

Dr Corcoran added: "I appreciate that there have been changes in management but from what I read in the press, the organisation blunders on in a hail of finger-pointing, back-biting and recrimination, still seeking to justify itself as a credible force, still seeking to blame those who have gone before."

Delegates at the conference passed a motion saying that the BMA "believes CQC is not fit for purpose" and that they have "no confidence in the ability of CQC to regulate health services".

They also said that the information governance function of the regulator should be "removed forthwith".

A CQC spokesman said: "The Care Quality Commission worked very closely with the British Medical Association during the registration for GP Practices in England and representatives from the BMA helped design the way the CQC is now regulating the sector.

"CQC looks forward to continuing to work closely with the BMA as it begins to change the way it regulates health and social care providers."

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'