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Senior managers responsible for CQC 'cover-up' should be named

Senior managers responsible for CQC 'cover-up' should be named

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Senior member of staff who ordered the deletion of a damning report into CQC failures should be named, the Health Secretary has said. 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said it was advised it would be a breach of the Data Protection Act to reveal the names of those involved. 

Yet the Information Commissioner’s office said the legislation is not “a blanket ban preventing senior managers being held to account.” 

CQC chief executive David Behan said he would be reviewing the legal advice in light of the comments, to see if the names can be released. 

Speaking to the BBC he said: "I was acting on the legal advice I was given, I acted in good faith.”

A police investigation into the deaths of eight mothers and babies is currently ongoing. 

‘Deliberate suppression’

In 2012, a senior management figure whose identity is currently protected, ordered the deletion of a damning review which concluded the CQC had failed to act on concerns about the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay (UHMB). 

A second official is alleged to have said the report “must never be in the public domain”. 

According to the results of an investigation, this could be evidence of a “broader and on-going cover-up”.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told the CQC to report back to him on what action should be taken within the next two months. 

He said: ”The whole truth must now come out and individuals must be held to account.” 

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said he doubted the legal advice given to the CQC.

"This feels like a public authority hiding behind the Data Protection Act, it's very common, but you have to go by what the law says and the law is very clear,” he said. 

‘Substantial changes’ 

In a statement, the CQC noted that its executive team and board have been completely changed since the events at UHMB. 

CQC said that what happened at the past was “unacceptable” and that in the past the senior level of the organization was dysfunctional. 

But with the release of the report the regulator hopes to “draw a line in the sand”. 

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