Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal


10:01 am - August 30th 2011

by Martin Williams    


      Share on Tumblr

After the Winterbourne View Care Home scandal, exposed by Panorama earlier this year, questions were raised about the resources and funding of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Now, a series of emails and documents have revealed how the government forced the CQC to cut nearly £1 million.

Less than a week after George Osborne’s “emergency budget” in May 2010, the Department of Health made it clear to the CQC that they would not escape funding cuts.

An email to the CQC explained:

Although as a protected department DH will not see a reduction in its 2010-11 budget, we are not and should not be exempt from the need to make savings.

The CQC told the Department of Health they would need a capital budget of £17.5 million in 2010-11. But by July, they had been informed that they would be receiving nearly £1 million less – just £16.4 million. The CQC’s Director of Finance told staff: “This should be sufficient although there are some emerging issues”.

The previous year, the CQC had to write a desperate five-page letter to the Department of Health asking asking that they be considered for some additional funding. It boasts “we have delivered recurring savings of £44m”, but warned: “There are further ‘one off costs’ that will be necessary in 2010/11 in order for us to satisfy our obligations before CQC reaches ‘steady state’.

Savings in the CQC have been accompanied by a dramatic fall in the number of inspections that are undertaken. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were only 5,331 inspections this year, compared to more than 48,000 inspections six years ago. In May, the CQC were criticised for failing to act on reports of abuse in Winterbourne View care home.

David Brindle had this to say in The Guardian:

On resources, critics have seized on the fact that the CQC’s annual budget of £164m is 30% less than the combined funding of the organisations it succeeded in 2009, even though it is being expected to do more. As well as NHS trusts, care homes, care agencies and dental practices, the body is due next year to start regulating GP practices.

According to Williams [Dame Jo Williams, CQC chair], each of the full quota of 900 inspectors – and until recently there have been up to 130 frozen vacancies – handles a mixed portfolio of some 50 different provider units and makes judgment calls, based on evidence of relative risk, about when and how often to visit (almost always unannounced, contrary to widespread belief).

Earlier this year, Pat Healy of the National Pensioners’ Convention said:

The quality of inspection of care homes is unsatisfactory, mainly because the regulator, the Care Quality Commission, is expected to do more for less money and does not have enough inspectors to do the job properly.

The CQC doesn’t seem to keep an online FOI disclosure log, so here is a selection of the more interesting documents…

Email from DH
Email from John Lappin
Email from Cynthia Bower
Email from DH 2
CQC Budget Notification (Doc 11 20101222 ) (Excel)
Revised Budget for 2010 and 11
Letter from DoH re CQC 2011 and 12 Indicative Budget
DoH ALB Planning Guidance
DoH ALB Planning Guidance – supporting docs
Letter from DoH re CQC 2010 and 11 Final Budget
Letter from DoH re CQC 2011 and 12 Initial Budget

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Martin is a regular contributor, and a freelance journalist. He has written for the Guardian, The Independent, The Sun and The Mirror. He blogs at Access Docs and focuses on FOI and investigative journalism. His own website is here.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Fight the cuts ,News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


I assume the headline was written without properly reading the article, as I can’t see how the cuts caused the scandal at all – although the scandal caused the revelation of the cuts perhaps?

Watchman – might help to read the article properly? It states:

“Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were only 5,331 inspections this year, compared to more than 48,000 inspections six years ago.”

HTH

To be fair to the first commenter, the story doesn’t actually state or even suggest a causal link between spending cuts and the Winterbourne scandal. As such, nothing about a specific care home scandal is “revealed”.

However, if the numbers are correct then there seems there could be an issue. I suspect and hope Private Eye will continue reporting this story accurately.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  2. David Whewell

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  3. socialworkuk

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  4. Sam Morecroft

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  5. Rachel Hubbard

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  6. Debbie Jolly

    RT @libcon Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/ZL0t9Fc

  7. Martin O'Neill

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  8. Nemesis Republic

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  9. Rocki Stone

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  10. Robin CGM

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  11. nobby-Lobby

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  12. Cognitive Dissident

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  13. Alex Braithwaite

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/Qyf6Mee

  14. Alex Braithwaite

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/qAl4gsx via @libcon

  15. richardbrennan

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/vbZjQwk via @libcon

  16. Julia Hines

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/vbZjQwk via @libcon

  17. BendyGirl

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/t9lxf3V via @libcon

  18. Broken OfBritain

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/t9lxf3V via @libcon

  19. Deb

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/t9lxf3V via @libcon

  20. Double.Karma

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/t9lxf3V via @libcon

  21. DPAC

    http://t.co/OyIpXxF Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal

  22. Matthew Smith

    How government cuts led to scandals like Winterbourne View (from Liberal Conspiracy via @samedifference1): http://j.mp/pHCnWa #disability

  23. Catherine Brunton

    http://t.co/OyIpXxF Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal

  24. Chris Salter

    RT @Dis_PPL_Protest: http://t.co/GRydyQD Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal #ppnews

  25. Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal « Same Difference

    […] August 30, 2011 by samedifference1 I thought some of you might be interested in this post from Liberal Conspiracy. Share this:TwitterEmailPrintFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  26. Double.Karma

    http://t.co/OyIpXxF Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal

  27. Paul Cardin

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/t9lxf3V via @libcon

  28. Lisa Egan

    http://t.co/OyIpXxF Emails Reveal How Cuts Led To Winterbourne View Scandal

  29. paulstpancras

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal http://t.co/UnaGzVs

  30. Care Homes Crisis: Government forced CQC to cut almost £1 million. | Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy

    […] http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/08/30/revealed-how-cuts-led-to-the-care-homes-scandal/ Share This News!!!!StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in News, Views, All Topics. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  31. Carolyn Anderson

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xVUCwfr

  32. Jez MacDonald

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal – http://t.co/tboFDbV

  33. Terry Bryan

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal – or something like that . . | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eJIOXd5 via @libcon

  34. Dee Speers

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tGAK98h via @libcon "Not enough money to do job"

  35. Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy « Natalie Meadows' Blog

    […] Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  36. Exclusive: How CQC budget was slashed to make “savings” « AccessDocs

    […] NB: This article has been subsequently published on the Liberal Conspiracy website here. […]

  37. Active Care Thinking

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal – or something like that . . | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eJIOXd5 via @libcon

  38. CSRE

    Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal – or something like that . . | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eJIOXd5 via @libcon





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.