Care providers are dismayed after the main inspection body for the sector admitted shortcomings in its reports.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it will have to reinspect almost 40 adult social care services in England after it found duplicate material in inspection reports.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) was concerned by the disclosure and has called for talks with the CQC and for reassurance that the inspection system is safe.
ICG Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “The Care Quality Commission (CQC) does a very important and very onerous job and must have the respect of care providers.
“It is vital that, when it comes to inspections, the reports they produce are above reproach. Professionals, providers and the public must have total confidence. It is particularly important that those reports can be relied upon by those making informed care choices based on them.
“This incident is damaging to CQC’s reputation and does beg the question: who is inspecting the inspectors?
“The CQC is, justifiably, very quick to punish care providers if they fall short and shows very little leniency. We need to have confidence in the CQC. Whilst it is gratifying to see that the organisation is acting to get its own house in order I know that ICG members are very concerned and it has shaken confidence in the inspection process. Many are questioning whether this type of ‘cut and paste’ report writing is commonplace and what other issues might be lurking within the inspection system.
“We have therefore invited Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care with the CQC, to visit us in North Yorkshire to discuss these failures and what can be done to restore confidence and prevent anything similar happening again.
“Hopefully she will be able to offer our members some reassurance that the inspection process is as fair, accurate and robust as it needs to be.”