Thank you for contacting me about the abuse suffered by residents in care homes.
I welcome the Government’s multi-pronged approach to tackling this issue, working with local government, the police, and the private and voluntary sectors. These groups work together to ensure that the right legislative powers are in place to deter and tackle people who target the elderly, to help prevent loneliness and social isolation, and to provide the right support and access to the justice system when someone suffers abuse. In October 2018, the Government launched a review of hate crime legislation as part of their refreshed hate crime action plan; under current hate crime legislation, targeting an elderly person because they are vulnerable should result in a more severe sentence.
The CQC was set up in 2009 to be an independent regulator overseeing health and social care services in England. It is funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Social Care and by fees paid by healthcare providers who deliver services defined under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as regulated activities.
The purpose of the CQC should be to protect the public and ensure safe operations throughout the health and social care sector. This is vitally important work, partially funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and as such the CQC is overseen by the Public Accounts Committee. This committee stated in March 2018 that while the regulator had improved significantly, there continue to be challenges. The CQC accepted this assessment and is working to reduce the burden of regulation without compromising quality. I believe it is extremely important to have an independent regulator assessing health and social care services. I agree that there is work to be done to ensure the CQC remains impartial and accurate, and I will closely follow the work of the organisation.
Furthermore, the Department of Health and Social Care is implementing Quality Matters, a vital scheme committed to improving the care sector for patients, families, and carers alike. This scheme makes it clear that care home providers must be transparent and work closely with the public, to develop care homes which are not only of the highest quality possible, but adapted to the needs of their locality.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP