Watchdog’s ‘shame’ over Cornwall

A Healthcare Commission chief has expressed regret over the high performance ratings it gave to Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust before abuse of people with learning difficulties in its care was uncovered.

Fiona Ritchie, the body’s head of learning disability services, told the all-party parliamentary group on learning disability this week that she wanted to “hang her head in shame” over the trust’s previous star ratings.

The Healthcare Commission awarded the trust two stars in 2005, the maximum of three stars in 2004 and two stars in 2003.

But last week the commission gave the trust the lowest rating of “weak” for the quality of its services, under its new annual health check for NHS trusts in England.

The commission put the trust in special measures this year following an investigation into abuse of people with learning difficulties dating back to 1999.

Ritchie admitted that “nobody” was collecting information about learning difficulties services under the commission’s previous star ratings system and said performance indicators needed to be introduced.

Full NHS ratings


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