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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Whistleblower accuses patient watchdog of 'passing failing hospitals'

28th March 2013

The former non-executive director of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said that issues at some NHS trusts were ignored by the organisation because they did not want to uncover another scandal such as the one at Mid Staffs.


Kay Sheldon, who spoke to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, said the watchdog "gave false assurance" about failing hospitals.

She explained: "The Mid Staffs public inquiry was under way and it had been said by the Department of Health that Mid Staffs was a one-off and there was a real sense that finding another Mid Staffs had to be avoided at all costs."

"There were a number of hospitals where the problems were well known and yet they were registered as fully compliant or subsequently inspected as fully compliant."

She added that the regulator was aware of serious problems at the University Hospitals and Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, even though it was registered as "fully compliant" in April 2010.

 "It was a very shocking thing to find thinking that an organisation that's there to protect patients had effectively given what amounted to false assurance and that meant that problems in the trust carried on unacknowledged and unaddressed," she said. 


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