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A new report to be released later today is expected to reveal how a CQC official was ordered to destroy an internal review into failures by the health regulator for England.
In accounts of discussions between senior managers about what to do with the findings, one senior manager said:
Are you kidding me? This can never be in a public domain nor subject to FOI [a freedom of information request]. Read my lips.
An official who carried out the review was asked to delete it and write a different review without criticism of the CQC.
Today's report said the official had "felt very uncomfortable" by the weight that was attached to the potential impact on the CQC's reputation rather than patient safety.
The chairman of the the NHS watchdog in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has said he is "desperately sorry" to the relatives of people who died in the maternity unit at a Cumbria hospital.
David Prior insisted on Sky News that the previous failures in his organisation, including an alleged cover-up of an internal report, are "not ongoing".
Prior, who was only appointed to the CQC in January this year, added: "We are changing the CQC fundamentally."
Firefighters have been tackling a blaze at an apartment block on Chapel Street on Salford.
Around 30 firefighters tackled the fire on the first floor flat at 3am this morning.
Crews also broke into the flat involved in fire, tackled the blaze with jets and searched the flat. There was no one inside.
Station Manager Ian Tracey, incident commander for the fire, said "We're now ventilating the building working with the police to look after the welfare of the residents who've had to come out of their homes."
The family of a solder from Wythenshawe who died when his armoured vehicle was attacked in Iraq, will learn today if they have won the right to compensation. Private Lee Ellis was killed in February 2006. When his snatch Landrover was caught in a roadside bomb.
Labour’s shadow health minister has called for an "urgent investigation" into allegations that health bosses covered up a failure to investigate a hospital where mothers and babies died.
Jamie Reed, who is also MP for the area, said: “It would be indefensible for the CQC, the regulator charged with keeping our hospitals safe, to attempt a cover-up designed to mask its own failings.
“My constituents who use this hospital deserve much better and the Government needs to provide answers on every aspect of this serious allegation.
“It is even more worrying that it comes after the events at Mid Staffs, when everyone in the NHS should have had openness and transparency at the front and centre of everything they were doing.
“Ministers must now order an urgent investigation into the questions raised by this report."
The review looked the Care Quality Commission's response to complaints about several deaths of newborn babies at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.
Regulators at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) deleted a review of its failure to act on concerns about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, a report will say today.
One of the local MPs, the Lib Dem president Tim Farron, told Daybreak that the alleged cover-up "is absolutely appalling."
He said: "I'm afraid it doesn't tell us anything we didn't already suspect.
"We knew that after the tragic death of Joshua Titcombe (who died nine days after his birth at Furness General Hospital in 2008) that the CQC conducted a review in 2010 and declared the maternity provision safe and sound.
"Decisions were made in that period of time based upon the apparent soundness of maternity in Morecambe Bay. Clearly it wasn't safe and it wasn't sound.
"There is every chance that people lost their lives in the years that followed because of, at least at best, a shockingly incompetent review by CQC."
This report reveals just how poor the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) oversight of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay (UHMB) was in 2010. This is not the way things should have happened. It is not the way things will happen in the future. We will use the report to inform the changes we are making to improve the way we work and the way we are run.
We are changing the culture of the organisation. The commissioning and publication of this report symbolises the approach we are taking and will continue to take. We are determined CQC will be an open and transparent organisation.
The report shows how CQC provided false assurances to the public and to Monitor in 2010. We were slow to identify failings at the trust and then slow to take action. We should not have registered UHMB without conditions.
We let people down, and we apologise for that.
– Care Quality Commission spokesperson
There is no evidence of a systematic cover up or of any collusion between CQC and the Public Health Service Ombudsman, but the example of how an internal report was dealt with is evidence of a failure of leadership within CQC and a dysfunctional relationship between the executive and the board. There is evidence of a defensive, reactive and insular culture that resulted in behaviour that should never have happened.
The CQC commissioned the independent report from management consultants Grant Thornton to look into its own activities in relation to University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
– David Prior, CQC’s Chair
CQC’s Chief Executive, David Behan, was absolutely right to commission an independent report into CQC's handling of the registration and subsequent monitoring of UHMB - and absolutely right to publish it in full.
The publication draws a line in the sand for us. What happened in the past was wholly unacceptable.
The report confirms our view that at a senior level the organisation was dysfunctional.
The Board and the senior executive team have been radically changed.
Officials at the NHS watchdog ordered that evidence of its failure to prevent a scandal at a hospital maternity unit be destroyed, a report will show according to the Daily Telegraph.
Regulators at the Care Quality Commission deleted the review of its failure to act on concerns about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, according to the report.
Police are investigating the deaths of at least eight mothers and babies at the Trust.