Commissions ‘will be toothless tigers’

A clause in the Health and Social Care Bill 2003 to allow the
health secretary to decide how complaints are dealt with has been
atttacked by the Liberal Democrats.

Social care spokesperson Paul Burstow said interference from the
government in the running of the new bodies – the Commission for
Social Care Inspection and the Commission for Healthcare Audit and
Inspection – would make them “toothless tigers”

He added that the powers health secretary Alan Milburn had given
himself in the bill “made a mockery” of the bodies’

“Despite promises that the new bodies would be impartial, it will
mean that ministers will be in complete control of any
investigations that the new bodies look at,” he said.

The new bodies will replace the National Care Standards Commission,
the Social Services Inspectorate and the Commission for Health
Improvement next April.

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