As the NHS faces the greatest scandal regarding CQC; it became clear that the idea of putting a non-doctor as its regulator is akin to getting a butcher to check on a top passenger aircraft. The Cockroach Catcher is of the opinion that despite the rhetoric, no SoS would put a doctor there.
Why? A doctor might, just might have a heart.
The Case: The Guardian 7 June 2011
A coroner has criticised hospital staff in
a succession of missed opportunities to treat a newborn baby for an infection
that later killed him. Cumbria
Joshua Titcombe died at nine days old from a common infection that could have been cured by antibiotics after medical staff repeatedly ignored his parents' fears for his health and told them "not to worry".
Ian Smith, the
and east coroner, said Joshua died of natural causes, but cited a number of
failures by the hospital in relation to his care. Cumbria
They included failing to recognise the symptoms of an infection, failure to act on those symptoms, failure to listen to the couple's concerns, inaccuracies in records made by staff, a lack of record keeping, an absence of continuity of care and a lack of special training for midwives on the postnatal ward.
The coroner also found a "strained and dysfunctional" relationship between midwives and paediatricians.
Smith said he believed 11 midwives at the hospital - all of whom gave evidence at the inquest - had colluded to cover up knowledge that low temperature is a common sign of infection. He said "incriminating" notes containing observations about baby Joshua's condition may have been deliberately destroyed.
The inquest heard there was an 80% chance Joshua would have survived if antibiotics had been administered in the hours after he was delivered. He was transferred by air for emergency care after he became seriously ill at Furness hospital in Barrow, and died in November 2008.
Joshua's father, James Titcombe, said he and his wife, Hoa, had urged staff at the hospital to treat their son with antibiotics, but were told he seemed well and did not need to see a doctor. He said they were told a paediatrician was "too busy" to deal with them.
Titcombe said: "The day after he was born I had come to take my wife and baby home when they found him not breathing well. It was a horrific shock. They told us he had a problem with his heart, then with his oesophagus. All the time I just suspected he had the same infection as his mother."
The baby was transferred to a paediatric centre in
and then to a hospital in Manchester for specialist
treatment. Consulants there said his problem was an untreated pneumococcus
infection, the same condition as his mother. Newcastle
One should perhaps ask the question: who put the head of CQC there and who is there now. Certainly not a doctor.
In the new world of doctoring, money comes into it and with that many doctors are losing their hearts. But we did have the infra structure to preserve it.
It would be such an irony if the new SoS be drawn in and become the unlikely and perhaps unwilling hero that Bevan used to save his NHS: a sort of reverse curse.
Jeremy Hunt has said the Care Quality Commission's alleged cover-up of failings at a Cumbria hospital are shocking, and he will back appropriate action against those responsible "absolutely to the hilt". The health secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "These are very, very serious allegations and they should have very, very serious consequences if they are proved. "I know the CQC are looking into disciplinary procedures and what can be done: what sanctions are available; whether you can have forfeiture of pensions, all those things. There has to be due process, but … it is totally appalling that this kind of thing should happen." Hunt said such failings damaged the NHS and undermined "the millions of doctors and nurses who do an amazing job day in, day out". The health secretary also acknowledged serious systemic flaws with how the CQC was set up in 2009, saying it was wrong to have the same regulator charged with both identifying and rectifying problems. He said the CQC's "generalist" system meant that the same inspector would visit such different facilities as a dental practice, a GP surgery, a hospital and a care home.
This is from one of my earliest posts:
In my book The Cockroach Catcher, I wrote:
When I was growing up, the Traditional Chinese Doctor was possibly the most respected person a child was ever going to meet. More so than his teacher, grand-father, or father. That was the pecking order of respect.
The doctor himself usually had a solemn and yet kind look and wore a traditional Chinese costume. No, the mother did not have to tell him anything. All he had to do was to check the child’s pulse and his tongue. There would be no listening to the chest, or any other examination, and definitely no X-ray or ECG.The respected doctor would write his prescription of around ten to twelve medicinal herbs.
The mother would thank him and then get the prescription from the Herbal Counter outside his consulting room. Each herb would be carefully weighed and individually wrapped in paper. Back home, the herb mixture would be boiled in water in special pots. Generally three bowls of liquid had to be reduced to eight tenth of a bowl. During the boiling process the pungent stench could be smelt from a block away. The sick child who was kept in his bed could certainly smell it. I always thought that was part of the treatment.
A black bitter tasting liquid would eventually be presented to the sick child. How we ever managed to down these potions I was never quite sure. The one possible inducement could be the two preserved plums at the end, given as a sort of reward for the child who managed to drink the full portion. These preserved plums came from the Herbal Counter with the medicinal herbs.
One thing was for sure. Children did not fake illness. Not often anyway unless they wanted to drink that black potion.
In my first ever visit to
Beijing, one member of our tour group consulted a famous Traditional Chinese Doctor in the . Seeing that I was a doctor myself, he told me what happened. He was in awe. He really was. The doctor only checked his pulse and looked at his tongue. Then he told him he had gall bladder problem. My new found friend pulled out some X-ray films from his doctor in Capital City . There were gall stones. Reunion Island
I too was impressed.
Alas, I fear that the respect for and trust in doctors in today’s world is waning fast. In my book, I wrote:
“…. Those were the days when doctors in
U.K. were amongst the top three most respected professions and Members of Parliament shared the bottom ranking with Estate Agents.
The doctor’s position had over the last ten years moved nearer the bottom end with no such counter moves by Politicians….”
I would love to hear from any reader who disagrees.
18 July 2013
Health regulator bosses accused of covering-up a review of baby deaths will not face a police inquiry.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will not be investigated for failings noted in an independent report that suggested an internal review had been suppressed.
The review highlighted the CQC's failure to investigate a spate of baby deaths at
. Furness General