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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, there has never been a right to tell lies, either professionally or in statute. My noble friend is right that we should be shocked that it is necessary to put in legislation that there has to be a statutory duty of candour. Candour has been part and parcel of the ethical framework for professionals in the health and care sector for many years. It is a sad reflection on those involved in the events at Mid Staffs and Morecombe Bay that we should be thinking in these terms at all, but we must, because unless we do we lay ourselves open to matters being brushed under the carpet, as they have been in these cases.

The inspections themselves have not been generic: it is the skills on the part of the inspectors that were considered to be adequate as those individuals were deployed generically. That decision was taken very early on when the CQC first came into being in 2009. We now think, as does the CQC, that that was wrong and that skills should be altogether more specialist.