CQC statement on Panorama

“CQC carries out an unannounced inspection of every care and nursing home in England every year – more often if we believe people may be at risk. This system of regulation can and does identify poor care which CQC then takes action to tackle.”

“However, what it cannot do is to identify and stamp out deliberately concealed abuse. By its very nature, concealed abuse takes place away from the eyes of managers and inspectors and can even take place, as in this case, in a well run care home. Abuse of vulnerable people is a criminal matter, and is rightly handled by the police and the courts.

“CQC has taken action against a number of providers where a current risk to people has been identified. In this case, the risk had been dealt with by the removal of the care staff involved by the home. CQC’s role was to make sure residents were protected once police and social services had acted to deal with the abuse shown in the hidden camera footage. CQC acted quickly and appropriately in this regard.

“It is the responsibility of the people who run and work in care homes to make sure they meet essential standards of care and to deliver good, safe care. CQC’s role is to check this through unannounced inspections and take action where we see poor care. Care staff, homes, councils, police and other stakeholders all have a part to play in the prevention of elder abuse. CQC also relies heavily on information from people who receive care and their families and friends. Anyone who sees evidence of abuse should call our whistleblower hotline.

“None of this detracts in any way from the appalling experience Maria Worroll had at this home. CQC welcomes the custodial sentence handed down to Jonathan Aquino. His behaviour was criminal abuse, and as such has rightly been handled robustly by the police and the courts. The sentence sends a strong message that it is unacceptable to abuse an elderly person in your care. We hope it will act as a powerful deterrent to others.”

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