Sunday, 2 October 2011

Heathcock Questions Future Of Southern Cross Watchdog

Leading Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Geoff Heathcock wants a meeting with Health Minister, Andrew Lansley to discuss the future of the health watchdog criticised over the collapse of the Southern Cross care homes.

Cllr Heathcock, Cambridgeshire County Council's Shadow Cabinet Member for Health has called for a meeting with the South Cambridge MP to find out what the government plans to do about the structure, staffing and inspection regime of the Care Quality Commission.

His concerns come after a Parliamentary report which revealed that the CQC was set up with an impossible working brief but failed to raise the alarm when its rates of inspection of health and social providers fell by 70 per cent in the second half of 2010/11.  

He said "It's absolutely appalling. We have seen over recent months, high profile cases surrounding care homes in the UK and some hospitals. There has been a gradual reduction in the confidence of the regulator to do its job uncovering high standards of care and wrong doing.

"While this has been going on I want to know what has been happening here in Cambridgeshire. Is the system robust enough to have prevented abuse or death in the Health Secretary's back yard?"