Let’s not publicise all negative inspections, says care regulator

    Negative inspection findings should not be routinely released to the press, the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission has said.

    Speaking at the National Children and Adults Conference in Harrogate, Cynthia Bower said that every small failing in social services did not need to be released to the media.

    “We don’t have to issue a press release every time we do a bit of regulation. We want to generate improvements,” she said.

    Bower added that morale would be boosted if every failing was not reported, which in turn would help people focus on improving services.

    Bower, was responding to Cardiff Council’s corporate director of social care, Neelam Bhardwaja who asked whether learning about failures in social services departments through the media rather than regulators was damaging morale.

    Ofsted’s chief inspector Christine Gilbert said: “We do need to shift the agenda because it’s always the negative that gets reported.”

    However, Bower acknowledged that media attention could be a catalyst for positive change in some instances.

    “We’ve looked at safeguarding in the NHS because of the media furore generated from the Baby Peter tragedy. After that, hospitals came to us over their safeguarding concerns. Media attention created pressure which made the NHS scrutinise their practice in a way they weren’t before. This attention has made children safer,” she said.

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