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Care Quality Commission: Morecambe Bay Hospitals — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:04 pm on 20th June 2013.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 12:04 pm, 20th June 2013

My Lords, this is one of the reasons why the previous Government introduced quality accounts, which are becoming more and more sophisticated and which focus the minds of a board on quality of care. It is easy to give the impression that we want to introduce a punitive culture into the NHS: we do not. However, there should be sanctions in the background to back up any serious failings of care. That is broadly what Robert Francis was driving at in talking about fundamental standards below which no care provider should fall. The CQC will be consulting on those standards later in the year, but I take the noble Baroness’s point about trust boards. It remains within the powers and competence of Monitor to suspend trust boards, either in whole or in part, where concerns arise over the governance of an organisation. That is a drastic power to invoke and they can take measures which fall short of it where appropriate.