Nothing To CQC Here



The BBC seems to be up to its old tricks as it fails to mention ‘Labour government’ in relation to yet another health scandal from the time of the last Labour government.

Not only failing to mention Labour and its failures in charge of the NHS but actually facilitating their attack on the present government.

Labour has picked up on a small phrase in the report by Grant Thornton on the CQC that said that the deleting of the internal report by the CQC ‘may constitute a broader and on-going cover-up.’


Victoria Derbyshire talks to Labour MP John Woodcock (11:20)  who turns things very political…saying it is a most shocking allegation about the deletion of  an internal report….he claims the report makes out that there are ‘strong grounds to believe that there is a broader and ongoing coverup’.


That is misleading as the report doesn’t say ‘strong grounds to believe’…it says this (para 1.117):

‘The report addressed many of the same issues the Whistleblower was to raise and the alleged decision to suppress it (very shortly before the Whistleblower submitted their own questions) may constitute a broader and on-going cover-up.’

That’s ‘may’ indicate a broader and on-going cover-up…..the cover-up being by the CQC itself.


Derbyshire encourages Woodcock…‘Can you explain this ongoing cover-up and what it means?’

Woodcock does then read out the paragraph in full and states:  ‘It is hard to exaggerate the seriousness of that charge…ministers need to make clear who in the Department of Health was aware of these allegations, including if Ministers themselves knew.’

Woodcock is trying to draw in and implicate the government in the cover-up…despite the report saying most of the CQC itself didn’t know of the internal report and no where implicates the government….and all with the help of Derbyshire who hasn’t read the report herself and doesn’t bother questioning or challenging Woodcock’s claims or statements.


Here the BBC acknowledges ‘political decisions’ in the process but fails to say whose political decisions:

There are structural problems. When the CQC was created it took on the responsibility of the three regulators plus a new licensing regime but with a third less funds.

Unsurprisingly, the number of inspections it was carrying out soon started dropping.

What is more, the inspection regime it was told to follow relied on a large amount of self-assessment by trusts.

These were political decisions that had unintended consequences.



Here the BBC shows Jeremy Hunt giving an apology….again no mention of Labour by the BBC…and they miss out a later, important comment by Hunt:

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to families affected by a series of baby deaths at a Cumbria Hospital after a report said that England’s healthcare regulator may have covered up knowledge of its own failings.


This is the comment by Hunt later in his appearance in Parliament:

When it comes to accountability, the right hon. Gentleman needs to explain to the House why the former head of the CQC, Barbara Young, said in her evidence to the Francis inquiry:

“We were under more pressure…when Andy Burnham became minister, from the politics.”

Is it the case that the head of the CQC felt under pressure not to speak out about care issues?


Tory MP, David Morris also remarked on this in the same parliamentary debate and in the ‘conservative home’ blog:

The former Chair of the CQC, Baroness Young, has made very serious allegations that ministers “leaned on” her to “tone down” criticism of NHS organisations. She claims that “there was huge government pressure, because the government hated the idea that a regulator would criticise it”. Damningly, she revealed that this political pressure peaked under current Shadow Health Secretary’s Andy Burnham’s tenure as Secretary of State. This is the man who turned down 81 separate requests for a public inquiry into the Mid Staffs scandal, and has attacked the current Health Secretary time and again for exposing and confronting “coasting hospitals”.’



This is what Baroness Young had to say about Labour’s attempted political interference in health care regulation:

Page 74-75

Q. Did you come under any government pressure to tone down the wording of reports?

A. In a way it was the other way round. The reason the government didn’t like tough reports was because they were running the services that were being reported upon, and so we used to fight tooth and nail to be as robust as possible, and to be as open as — and independent. I was absolutely determined that we were not going to be a regulator who was subject to the government being able to muzzle it or to infringe its independence, or to prevent it from doing a good job on behalf of the public and patients, which is what we were there for.

So had the government tried to tone things down, I would not have accepted that, quite frankly. And I don’t recall us changing a report at any stage, while I was there, as a result of government pressure. 

There was huge government pressure, because the government hated the idea that — that a regulator would criticise it by dint of criticising one of the hospitals or one of the services that it was responsible for. And that was part of the problem of the nature of the Care Quality Commission, when it was established, and that was it was regulating — it was one of the few regulators in British public life that regulates something that is directly run by the government, and that was always going to be a real problem.


And on page 80 she noted the conflict of interest in the government being both provider and regulator:

So the health service got it both ways — they — they — they could run as providers but at the same time they could advise the guy who was making decisions ultimately about the shape and nature of regulation. And so it did feel like a bit living in an episode of “The Thick of It”



Labour once again are being let off the hook by the BBC…it conspicuously failed to connect Labour to the Mid-Staffs scandal and seems to be doing something similar here…what’s being forgotten is the real cause of all the fuss..the actual failure of the Morecambe Bay hospital under Labour….and what looks like the systemic failure of the NHS as Grant Thornton suggests.



The CQC, like Gordon Brown’s ‘FSA’, was ‘too big to succeed’ having been  created by the merger of three other regulatory bodies to become an unwieldy and disjointed beast.

Labour’s part in that is of little interest to the BBC, nor are the comments by Baroness Young about attempted political interference to reduce the effect of CQC reports…surely more than a little bit relevant in the present circumstances.

Woodcock has had a good run over the last couple of days given free rein to air his conspiracy theories unopposed….the BBC not bothering to put anyone up against him to challenge his claims.

Thirteen years of a Labour government..and you’d hardly know if you only listened to the BBC.


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35 Responses to Nothing To CQC Here

  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Yet similar political corruption and cover-ups in the US are definitely not connected to the Administration. No, sir, nothing to see here, just noise from enemies.


  2. Doublethinker says:

    The BBC is protecting its political support , the Labour party , and its friends in the public sector. The BBC and the Labour Party need each other. The BBC knows it is safe in Labour’s hands and the Labour Party knows that the BBC uses its power to manipulate the news and comment to ensure that Labour in never held to account for its series of massively damaging policies that they have inflicted on Britain.
    If Labour’s record was properly scrutinised they would pay a heavy price with the public. For instance Labour wasted massive amounts of tax payer’s money on education, but the UK is still slipping down the world tables.The NHS , where again billions of extra money has produced no improvement,they are still killing their patients at much the same rate, and immigration which is causing deep and long lasting problems.
    No matter how much the Tories try to expose the never ending series of scandals in the public sector so beloved of Labour, the BBC will minimise the harm to Labour and try to deflect blame onto the Tories. After all the BBC knows which side its bread buttered on. No attempt by the Tories to cosy up to the BBC will break this symbiotic relationship between the BBC and Labour. Much better for the Tories to rid us of our biased and discredited state broadcaster as quickly as possible.


    • Wild says:

      The BBC is the broadcasting arm of the Public Sector Unions it’s entire function and justification (as its apologists here hardly contest) is to be the equivalent of a “free” newspaper put through your door explaining what a wonderful job the Public Sector does (GP’s and NHS hospitals portrayed by the BMA as run by people thinking only of your health, and teachers in the State Sector as the NUT demonstrate in their conferences keeping politics out of education and passionate about raising educational standards, and of course last, but not least, the envy of the world BBC, who informs us (to take two examples) about American politics or the EU in a wholly balanced and unprejudiced way that completely justifies extracting a compulsory fee from you for their service – the Public Sector BBC is so good there is no need to give you a choice because your opinion is irrelevant.


    • Doublethinker says:

      Just listened to PM tonight about CQC and there was a full and wide ranging discussion. The only missing facts were:
      a) that the Not Fit For Purpose CQC and its silly generalist inspection system was set up by Labour
      b) that under Labour the NHS repeatedly used gagging orders on whistle blowers, but perhaps this is not considered newsworthy because the BBC makes frequent use of them too.
      c) that under Labour the Dept of Health at senior levels was complicit in cover ups
      d) that the Labour Health Secretary had a long record of refusing to hold open inquiries into various instances of bad practise in the NHS.
      e) all of this after Labour had increased NHS spending by an astronomical sum. But the NHS still keeps on killing its patients. Again this may not be newsworthy because value for tax payers money is not something the BBC majors on and just like the NHS they ignore ordinary people.

      Apart from that it was unbiased.


  3. thoughtful says:

    The CQC was run along similar lines to other watchdogs & that is the real unspoken problem.

    Lazy politicians think that the best people to oversee the people running public services are other people from the same position. They never ever find anything wrong unless it’s screaming out & they can’t avoid it. The problem with the CQC is the selection of the top two execs who didn’t even want to deal with issues which were screaming out !

    Perhaps the worst case in point here is the local government ombudsmen, who are all ex council chief execs, selected by the local government association, it’s no surprise that they never find maladministration. In fact so low are the figures that they are a fraction of 1% found in favour of complainants. Even then the judgements are not binding on the council and they can ignore them if they wish!

    Although the LGO has been around for a while BLiars government set up a huge number of government organisations, which I call ‘facades’. For many reasons they have to be set up – mostly legal requirements, but although they appear to be there they don’t actually do anything.

    Take the Equalities Tribunals – anyone would think that employers would be being found guilty of all kinds of discrimination, but the reality is that success runs as high as just 3% and most are a lot lower than that. Settlements barring a few high profile cases are around two weeks wages.

    Asylum cases ran all the way through to the point where cases failed and the claimant was ready to be repatriated – and nothing happened !

    There are loads of examples of fat salaries being paid to people to achieve very little, in the case of the CQC lives were at stake and as a result it has reached the news thanks to an amazingly arrogant & incompetent CEO – appointed by Liebour with much criticism.

    The current appointee David Behan is another prime example graduating from Bradford university with a degree in social services, he has spent his entire career working in the public sector . He has never known life in the private sector where efficiency really matters, and the paradigm of doing things this way because that’s the way they’ve always been done has to be an issue.

    There’s a bigger story behind all this though, and that is the UKs façade services which don’t work and aren’t intended to!


    • Mike says:

      And another reason for the dollop of whitewash is the “there but for the grace of God…” principle. One day all those at the top may need sympathy and support from his/her peers


    • London Calling says:

      Everywhere a quango queen or a “safe pair of hands” , appointed to smooth over the ruffles of every-day malpractice. Suzy Leather, Cynthia Bowers, hundreds of them, all the same. A lot are women who know how to “work the men” in the public sector. Parasites “recommended” by civil servants who know the script, and recruitment advisors who write the script.
      Things might go wrong, we need a safe pair of hands. “Lessons will be learned” obfuscation trips off the tongue. It could be sorted, all we need is a real Prime Minister. Instead we have “call me Dave”


      • ron todd says:

        To handle the men all they have to do is threaten to shout sexism if they don’t get everything they want.


        • Lobster says:

          I think they are a perfect example of the stupidity of the “Harriet Principle” of gender over ability.


  4. Beeboidal says:

    So, the Beeb can’t find Andy Burnham – again. The Beeb says

    There are structural problems. When the CQC was created it took on the responsibility of the three regulators plus a new licensing regime but with a third less funds.

    Unsurprisingly, the number of inspections it was carrying out soon started dropping.

    If they do ever track him down, the Beeb should ask Burnham why his CQC appointee, Cynthia Bower -who is front and centre in allegations of a cover up, did this

    As part of a “light-touch” regulatory regime, one of Bower’s first acts is to disband the CQC’s central NHS investigations team inherited from the Healthcare Commission, despite its track record in exposing scandals such as the one at Stafford. The decision is met with consternation from inside the organisation and the wider NHS. Critics feel it will send the wrong message to hospitals which want to keep failings secret.

    How did that affect the inspection regime, Beeboids?

    Meanwhile, for any hard left Beeboids pining for the Soviet Union, this should bring back fond memories:

    NHS watchdog claimed that whistleblower Kay Sheldon was ‘mentally ill’


  5. Deborah says:

    I heard some of the Today interview with Jeremy Hunt immediately after the 8am news without realising who it was. Naughtie asked him what steps were being taken against the women involved. Hunt said a range of issues were ‘being investigated’ and when being pressed by Naughtie said it included withholding their pensions. By the 8.30 headlines the news was that Jeremy Hunt had said that the women’s pensions could be stopped – made it sound fairly definite and as if it was Hunt’s decision. Nothing untrue in the headlines just an emphasis by the BBC to make the Tories sound like the nasty party.


  6. Beeboidal says:

    LOL! Just heard a Beeboid reporter on 5 Live give a quote from the elusive Andy Burnham. Congratulations to that Beeboid on tracking him down, but “Jeremy Hunt is dithering” wasn’t what I was looking for.


    • Bea Boyd says:

      We never go looking for Labour interviews when there’s trouble brewing, it’s really the other way round – Labour come to us when they have a message to put out eg “Tory Jeremy Hunt dithering”. If the name is right we we even accidentally mispronounce the Tory’s name to further ridicule him and ensure the attached message gets even wider coverage.


  7. Bodo says:

    Excellent post Alan.

    As this saga has dragged on the gap between BBC reporting and that of other news outlets has grown ever wider. Anyone relying on just the BBC for news would get the impression that the NHS and the CQC are largely blameless, and the real culprits are in fact the Tory party.

    I can only assume that it’s one public sector organisation (BBC) defending their ideological bedfellows in the NHS, and implicitly in the Labour Party.

    Of course, the BBC can hardly criticise the CQC for a lack of transparency when the Beeb itself has been forced to admit blowing £28 million silencing staff, plus the massive legal bill they incurred trying to keep “28-gate” a secret.


  8. AsISeeIt says:

    Cynthia Bower

    just me, or a deadringer form BBC favourite Jo Brand….?

    What an old-girls’ club. Look at these reckless estrogen-fueled female NHS-sters running our vital health services into the ground – only interested in their own careers and self-interest….


    • Chop says:

      That old phrase “Wouldn’t kick her out of bed” certainly does not apply.

      She’d be kicked out of the bed, the room, the house, the street, the town, the county, the country and off the bloody planet as far as I’m concerned.

      I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, lefty women are fiendishly ugly…no wonder lefty blokes are angry (or gay)


      • Albaman says:

        “I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, lefty women are fiendishly ugly…no wonder lefty blokes are angry (or gay)” ————– absolute nonsense no matter how often you say.


        • Chop says:

          Point proven.

          Alby, baby, you wanna implant a sense of humor, and not be soooo offended by everything.

          Btw, still trolling a right leaning blog are we?…don’t you lefties have anywhere else to go?

          Don’t bother answering that.


  9. Dick the Butcher says:

    Time for a thorough investigation of Common Purpose methinks.


    • MD says:

      There is something very wrong with the network of quangos and regulatory bodies that have arisen over the past 20 years. They are neither democratically nor economically accountable. The government has undue influence over them and they can easily be hijacked for the political aims of the day.
      There’s also a sort merry go round of appointments with the key players moving from one organisation to the next. Either that or they are married to someone in politics or the media.
      The whole lot of them seem to be infected by a left wing ideology and it’s rapidly wrecking the country.
      Whether this is promoted under the banner of Common Purpose or not it amounts to the same thing.
      It is also becomes very apparent how vital it was for ‘them’ to win with Leveson and how scared they were of Rupert Murdoch taking control of Sky.


  10. mike walker. says:

    The most important issue of the moment [thurs.20th.] June.was without doubt the CQC obscenity.
    Has any one wondered why it did not warrant an airing on Question Time.Funny that! Could it possibly be that both the content and the composition of the studio audience are manipulated?


    • The Technical Team says:

      I had switched QT on in the hope of such a question. But turned it off as soon as the odious Brand opened his mouth.


  11. Charlatans says:

    Something is wrong.

    Gobsmacking amazing that the BBC is way behind SKY News on tilting ‘blame’ spin towards the Tory led Government for CQC scandalous Furness Hospital baby deaths.

    Sky news reporting that Andrew Lansley personally received 8 page letter about the sad Cumbrian case a few weeks after GE 2010, intimating that he must start to take some blame for any past or ongoing scandal.

    Surely there must be a BBC newsroom strike or their spin machine does not do weekends.

    This is so surprising since our natural expectation is that the BBC will always twist the blame in anyway it can onto the Tories and away from Labour at every opportunity.


  12. The Technical Team says:

    I’m waiting for a whistleblower story on Casualty.
    Some chance !


  13. Beeboidal says:

    Speaking out cost NHS whistleblower his job

    “It was made very clear to us from the outset by Baroness Young, the chair, that the CQC would be a different animal from the HCC,” he said.
    “The HCC was deemed to have made too much noise in the media and it became clear that the same kind of publicity would not be welcomed by the CQC.”

    Other documents include a letter from Andy Burnham, then health secretary and now Labour’s shadow health spokesman, telling the health care regulator in November 2009 that its role was to “restore public confidence in the NHS”.

    Beeb 5 Live – Andy Burnham denies seeking to influence CQC.


    • richard D says:

      And I noted on the early evening news this evening that the BBC were fixated on Andrew Lansley being forced to defend himself against claims of negligence in this whole affair, but of Andy Burnham and his directions to the CQC regarding the potential downside to his government at the time…. tumbleweed drifting on the wind. Nothing to see there…. let’s focus on the Conservatives.


      • tommy says:

        see which was uploaded before 5.00! Nearly 2 hours before your post.

        Specsavers have offers you might need to take advantage of.


        • richard D says:

          Cobblers to you, too, mate. I was discussing the early evening TV news, not the website. I don’t get my early evening news from the BBC website – and I guess the vast majority of people in the UK don’t either – they would have seen and heard the same report I did.

          Once again, the apologists for the BBC search high and low for the slightest mention of something across the panoply of media outlets that is the BBC, as if this proves somehow that that the other person was wrong about the content of another (the major) part of the BBC. But then again, I guess your guide dog was probably loudly humping your leg at the time, so you wouldn’t have heard the report I did.


  14. GCooper says:

    It’s Tommy who needs the services of a good optician.

    The BBC’s ‘News’ website has clearly decided to target Lansley and runs Burhnam’s sniveling excuse about memory failure beyond the point where readers will have lost interest, having been convinced, as usual, it was ‘the Tories wot dun it’.. .

    How strange that a serving minister has too much to do to concentrate on details and yet, Burnham, when he was that minster was, uh, too busy to concentrate on details..

    Which is not, of course, a question any of the BBC’s Labourite hacks will ever put to him..


  15. GCooper says:

    Apologies – premature send. What I meant was how strange that a former minister is criticised for not paying attention to details by a slug who, when he was that serving minister was…. too busy to pay attention…


    • Chop says:

      He had his hands full, closing his own constituencies A&E at the time, to be fair to poor old mascara Burnham.

      And they still vote for him…pillocks.


  16. London Calling says:

    Note Burnham’s words “Restore public confidence in the NHS”, not public confidence in the Regulator, nor public confidence in Labour’s management of the NHS from Whitehall. Its an instruction to conceal failures. The lying so and so has been all over the media like rash, denying he instructed anyone to do anything. He was only in charge. Can’t be his fault.


  17. 1327 says:

    I fear the CQC is only the tip of a very rotten iceberg when it comes to p*ss poor public sector management. From time to time I deal with public sector clients (not civil service as such) and there has been a very odd change in them over the last 5 or so years. In the past the middle management I dealt with was mostly male and were in their late 30s . 40s having worked their way up from ground floor. Many had been working for the organisation for many years , and while some had obviously been promoted on the principle of buggins turn the majority knew their job and you couldn’t pull the wool over their eyes. Over the last few years though these people have gone replaced by a new drop in middle management , usually female aged in their late 20s or early 30s and all graduates. They haven’t the slightest clue what they are doing or what the organisation under them actually does ! Meetings with them turn into a cr*p version of the “Apprentice” since we always have a project manager , a deputy project manager and so on. To make up the fact no one knows anything management buzz words are used “business case” being a big one at the moment i.e “Do we have a business case Cathy ?” “Oh yes Julia our business case is a good one”. I could sell them magic beans if I felt like it.
    At this current rate of decline the British public sector won’t actually do anything in 5 years.


  18. tina says:

    Unfortunately this whole lefty leaning goes a lot deeper – visiting my (lefty) home town a while back and I was horified to find that the once excellent museum (which I had visited frequently during my childhood and teenage) has had its exhibits replaced with, or augmented with, labour propaganda! A history time line depicted the rise and fall of the various political parties with their “triumphs” and “misdemeanors” pointed out – it was so biased, it was worse than listening to the BBC. Have you noticed the way the BBC has brainwashed the public into all kinds of strange or absurd ideas about recent (since its inception) history?
    Also, I was over the last three years constantly incensed by a young relative relating “fact” as given on their degree course – again, mostly feminist and left leaning drivel, with no attempt at all to give a balanced viewpoint of historical events – a continuation of the sort of lessons my children had put up with in school.
    Unfortunately, introducing them to, or pointing them at alternative material proved pointless as an inexperienced youth in awe of tutors and/or pursuing good marks was not very receptive.


  19. stuart says:

    dont this labour party want to make you puke in your cornflakes,anybody would think they was not in power for 12 years and it was all a mirage,they seem to forget it was them that brought this country to its knees with mass immigration,a lawless and broken society,and now they have the cheek to say if you elect us in 2015 we will repair the damage they done when they was in power is just a total insult to hard working familys who want to do the right thing in this country.