A former Care Quality Commission inspector was arrested today on suspicion of pressurising care providers to pay for favourable inspection reports.
The 43-year-old woman from Northamptonshire is being questioned by City of London Police on suspicion of bribery and money laundering, as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged payments from providers for positive inspection reports.
The CQC said an inspector had been sacked for gross misconduct after an internal investigation found that the impartiality of their judgements had been “seriously compromised”, and that it had now referred the matter to the police.
“This inspector has failed the organisation, failed the providers who rely on us to act fairly and impartially, and – most importantly – failed in their responsibility to protect people who use services through identification of poor care,” said CQC director of governance and legal services Louise Guss.
“CQC operates a zero tolerance policy in regard to fraudulent or dishonest behaviour. As this case makes clear, we take any credible allegations relating to this behaviour extremely seriously and, following a full investigation, will take the swiftest and most severe action possible against any member of staff found guilty.”
The information came to light as a result of whistleblowing information passed to the CQC.
The City of London Police are calling on any care providers who have been pressurised to pay for favourable inspection reports to contact the CQC on 03000 616161.
“We are working closely with CQC to thoroughly investigate these allegations,” said Det Insp James Clancey. “We are appealing with to anyone who may have information linked to these allegations to come forward.”
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