CQC in takeover bid for Scotland Yard

Posted on May 27th, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

In the week the Police Federation complained – yet again – about reductions in officer numbers. CQC rode to the rescue, reassuring us that part at least of the thinning blue line will hold firm. The Commission intends to widen its operations – further evidence that it is bent on world domination? – by stepping into the breach to run fraud investigations. It may also explain where all the redundant bobbies are going.

The Commission’s plan for dealing with fraud and corruption appeared cheek by jowl with one on gifts and hospitality. Could there be a connection, I wonder? Is there a problem we don’t know about? Someone in, or associated with, the organisation suspected of doing a naughty? Nothing an enquiry under the Freedom of Information Act couldn’t reveal. Where are the investigative journalists when you need them? Probably carrying concealed cameras into care homes.

Who would have thought that the Commission needed to spell out that “CQC staff must not defraud the CQC, other CQC staff, provider organisations or contractors, in any way”? I wonder if this came as a surprise to inspectors and their little helpers. Could it signal the removal of a long-standing perk? As a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, it certainly takes some beating.

Regulators may act as if they are a race apart, but I didn’t realise that they haven’t been subject to the same laws as the rest of us. And, call me naïve, but I had always believed that the police investigate allegations/suspicions of crime and the Crown Prosecution Service determines whether criminal prosecutions will be brought. Well, that’s only for ordinary mortals, definitely not for CQC staff, who apparently will be on the end of an internal process.

Is there no limit to the regulator’s ability to carry out specialist work? Now, do you think the anti-terrorist unit might need a bit of help?

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One response to “CQC in takeover bid for Scotland Yard”

  1. I’d be interested to see how CQC plans to support this, partly in the light of the six-month extension to the original timetable for social care inspections that has recently been announced, but also because fraud work is painstaking and takes a lot of resource – just ask the police or the SFO – and I can’t see CQC inspectors having the expertise or capacity to do this. And the police can issue warrants, for example, to get information – is CQC going to have the same statutory powers? It would be interesting to have a police view on this as well.

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