On Wednesday 18 July 2018, CQC identified a technical issue within their data management system that may have delayed or prevented the timely referral of some safeguarding information to local authorities.
A thorough investigation of the situation commenced immediately and the organisation said they have established that the system and process error relates to 96 concerns raised since last July.
A statement said the referrals have been analysed and the organisation has established that none of the referrals contained information where there was immediate risk of severe harm to people. It has meant, however, that information of concern was potentially not shared with local authorities so that they could decide whether they needed to investigate further.
CQC is sharing this information with the 51 local authorities affected in order to verify as quickly as possible whether or not they were aware of this information via other routes and whether it has been acted upon or whether they now need to commence their safeguarding procedures.
Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Acting Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “As soon as we discovered this issue, we immediately carried out an urgent review to determine whether action was needed to ensure people who use health and care services were safe and properly protected. While we established that none of these referrals contained information about immediate risk of severe harm to people, we did find that in 96 cases, a system and process error meant that information of concern may not have been shared with local authorities.
“Therefore, today we are making 96 safeguarding referrals to 51 local authorities so that they can take any action necessary or inform us that they were aware of these concerns from another source. We have also advised the Directors of Adult Social Services or their staff in the local authorities affected.
“Our priority is to keep people safe – we do this by taking regulatory action ourselves but we also do it by sharing information with partners. I’m truly sorry that in these 96 cases we may not have shared information that could have helped local authorities to protect people. The independent investigation will assist us in ensuring we improve our systems to avoid something like this happening again.”