Who monitors the monitor?

who monitors the monitor?

(This post is by Kim Moore : BCU Mental Health Nurse Lecturer)

Current debates on health services are never far from headline news these days. In the wake of the Stafford Hospitals inquiry and the emerging issues of Morecambe Bay Hospital the role of the Care Quality Commission in monitoring and applying quality assurance standards to others seems somewhat hypocritical.

Public confidence in the work of the CQC has been seriously undermined by its own management team and the ability as an organisation to meet its own stated objectives (parliamentary business post can be found here).
What of CQC’s new role in policing “openness and transparency” in the NHS?  Recommendation 16 in the Francis enquiry (Vol 1, pp 415) clearly called for an independent examination of the commissioning, supervisory and monitoring bodies on learning to identify “failing hospitals” with a “level playing field for accountability” (Recommendation 82) with the clearly identified the consequences of “hiding information about poor care to become a criminal offence” (PM statement Feb 2013 ).

The breaking news of Morecambe Bay Hospital highlights the problems of who monitors the monitor, and to whom they are accountable for poor or misleading practice. The finding from the Parliamentary committee was to severely criticise the function and performance of the CQC, despite the criticism what remains unclear to me are those consequences that Francis outlined when such a clear management failure has been found.