Care Quality Commission staff have been reduced to tears and have “literally pulled their hair out” as a result of the re-registration programme for adult care providers. Documents leaked to Community Care reveal difficulties faced by employees have caused the commission’s staff forum to call an extraordinary meeting for 4 August.
Last month a staff survey revealed there was low morale at the commission with only 14% of staff expressing confidence in the executive board and 18% saying morale was high in their part of the organisation.
The agenda for the staff forum’s meeting, seen by Community Care, reveals the full extent of the problems, quoting extensively the written submissions of staff.
One respondent wrote: “I was in the office twice last week and both days supported people who had broken down and sat crying at their work.”
Another added: “Why the CQC would want to develop a process that staff can hardly follow; that delays rather than progresses the registration process; costs the commission money in overtime payments and reduces perfectly competent staff to tears is incomprehensible to me. If this issue gets leaked to the press we will look ridiculous.”
Many people said they felt stressed, demoralised, deskilled and desperate in the face of the registration task which they felt was cumbersome, unnecessary and a waste of public money.
Several respondents reported that management was using bullying tactics to get staff to achieve targets which were described as an “impossible task”.
One respondent added: “I feel that the executive team is remote from what we are doing and have no understanding at all of what is happening ‘on the ground’.”
In addition, the guidance on re-registration from senior management was said to change regularly and be confusing and lengthy, adding to the stress.
Amanda Sherlock, director of operations at CQC, said: “We are fully aware of the pressure some people are under. We have an ongoing daily dialogue with staff, and are committed to working jointly with them to address the challenges we face.”