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What is the CQC? Social-care regulator accused of failing to keep care homes safe


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ngland’s care regulator has been accused of failing to keep private nursing-home residents safe.

A family have said that a delay in exposing serious risks led to the premature death of a loved one.

Relatives of Bernard Chatting, 89, said they relied on a “good” rating from the Care Quality Commission when they moved him into a £1,200-a-week home in Dorset.

But he experienced care so unsafe that he ended up in hospital, and died a few weeks later.

It emerged that the CQC already knew the home was failing badly, and now the family is seeking a refund of £16,000 in fees.

It comes as CQC’s traffic-light ratings become increasingly important for people looking to place relatives in England’s 17,000 care homes, amid a staffing and funding crisis.

Here’s what you need to know about the CQC.

What is the Care Quality Commission (CQC)?

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

It’s supposed to make sure heath and socia- care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care, and encourages care services to improve.

The watchdog alleges to monitor, inspect, and regulate services, and publish poor findings.

Last week, a £2.3bn black hole in funding for care homes that are partially or fully council-funded for elderly people in England was exposed in a Government review, according to The Guardian.

At least one in 10 care-home jobs is vacant and staffing shortages are a repeated cause of often distressingly poor care, the CQC inspection reports show.

CQC inspectors and other staff have voted to strike over pay with their trade union Unison, because low or no wage increases over many years have put the workforce under pressure.

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What happened to Bernard Chatting?

Bernard Chatting had diabetes and was hospitalised after nursing-home staff failed to check his sugar levels.

His family discovered that care notes were being falsified, and he lost more than two stone in weight, dying on May 21, 2022.

Dorset County Council was so worried that it had stopped sending council-funded residents there, the Guardian said.

The CQC’s inspections uncovered that it was “dirty”, understaffed, and people were “at risk of harm”.

But the CQC halted the publication of its damning report to prevent the care home from losing insurance cover.

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