NHS Baby deaths cover-up: MPs to question CQC Watchdog heads

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt

MPs want to quiz the heads of Britain’s health and social care regulator over alleged attempts to cover-up a report into preventable deaths of as many as 16 babies and two mothers at a Cumbria hospital.

On Thursday the Care Quality Commission had revealed the names of three officials – two former executives and a media manager – accused of suppressing a report into its failings over the inspection of Furness General Hospital in 2009.

MPs want to question the CQC’s chief executive and chairman – but CEO David Behan defended his handling of events.

On Friday, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt has settled out plans to reform the way health services are inspected, after cover-up scandal was revealed.

Mr. Hunt told it to be “utterly shocking” that the CQC had tried to cover-up a report that was critical of its inspections of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

More than 30 families have now taken legal action against Furness General – run by Morecambe Bay NHS Trust – regarding the baby and maternal deaths and injuries from 2008.

The trust had been provided with a clean bill of health in 2010 by the CQC, but an internal review was ordered by the hospital regulator in 2011 into how the deaths and injuries remain unnoticed.

An inquiry by consultants Grant Thornton, was publicized during the current week, found that report was not made public due t it’s being too critical of the CQC.

Grant Thornton concluded this “might well have constituted a deliberate cover-up” by the CQC employees who considered it should not be made public.

Mr. Hunt has acknowledged he did not have very much confidence in the CQC at the moment, but said he had confidence in the new management team.

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