This week sees the outcome of the NHS Forum on the NHS Bill, but failure to address the potential collapse of our regulatory bodies and the services to vulnerable adults remains a concern.
I wrote to you early this year and so did another reader on NHS regulation and the “institutional vandalism” that this Government has taken with regulators and service provision.
We know the Care Quality Commission failed to pick up the whistleblower’s concerns highlighted in the recent BBC Panorama television programme over abuse in care homes. Why? is the question I want answered, what is the government doing about it and did they contribute to this state of affairs in the first place.
The CQC has been created from three previous large regulators and is about to add another two the Human Fertilization Authority and Healthwatch.
Its budget is 30 per cent less than the regulators it has replaced and its inspections in this past year have been cut by a whacking 70 per cent. It has 900 inspectors to cover more than 8,000 GP practices, 400 NHS Trusts, 9,000 dental practices, and 18,000 care homes. It was told to recoup all its costs by raising the fees it charges to all these providers, which limits its income. It was also told to abolish its star rating in what the respected journalist Polly Toynbee calls the government’s bonfire of measurements.
Given the reduction in inspections the risk of abuse remains high for vulnerable in closed care.
As an elected member and leader of the Labour opposition, I protest loudly about inadequate inspection and against financiers making a killing out of the most vulnerable in our society, and to a Government that commenced its term by bullying many of the regulators into dangerous submission.
Cllr Irene Ratcliffe