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|Andrew Norfolk, 'CQC covered up suspected rape in care home' (Times, 27/7/17)||Newspaper article||
This article related to a "cluster" of sex alerts at residential homes owned by Hillgreen Care, a private company that specialised in the care of young adults with learning disabilities. It was said that confidential documents revealed that: (a) the deputy manager of one home was a convicted sex offender working in Britain illegally; (b) concerns were raised at other homes over “sexual grooming” of residents, and staff having sex while on duty; (c) care workers were initially told not to inform police of a suspected rape in November 2015 of a severely autistic 23-year-old man who lacked capacity to consent to sexual relations; and (d) potential DNA evidence linked to the incident was destroyed. The CQC said it was "actively pursuing what criminal action can be taken in relation to the failings" at the Enfield home, and had not made any of the concerns public because its desire to be "open and transparent" needed to be balanced alongside a risk of "compromising ongoing investigations".
|Andrew Norfolk, 'Sexual predator’s victim was failed at every turn' (The Times, 27/7/17)||Newspaper article||
Criticisms of CQC and care home
(1) This article is critical of the CQC's response to sexual abuse in a care home: "It had the power to bring criminal charges against the company or the senior individuals responsible for its running. Instead, it chose a much quieter, less public course of action. The Enfield home no longer has any vulnerable adults in its care. It is one of four Hillgreen homes that have ceased to operate since November 2015 because the CQC identified, and publicised, lesser problems in their operation. In the case of the home where Tom was allegedly attacked, the commission’s website carries the report of a 2016 inspection that was published in October last year. It rated the facilities as inadequate and unsafe, but not because a high-risk sex offender was allowed unsupervised access to the bedroom of a defenceless, highly vulnerable resident. Instead, the report criticised the home for failings that included storing mops and buckets in the garden and having overflowing bins, scuffed skirting boards, loose handles on kitchen drawers and a broken dishwasher. The report noted the recent promotion of a senior care worker to deputy manager but chose not to reveal that the vacancy was created by the exposure of her predecessor as a convicted sex offender. ... No one has told the residents of those homes, or their families, what happened at the Enfield home in November 2015. It is almost a year since anyone spoke to Tom’s mother about the attack." (2) It is also critical of the care home management: "In written statements seen by The Times, three Hillgreen workers said that Ross Dady, the company’s regional manager, and Roger Goddard, its director of care, initially told them they should not contact police or any external authorities. ... [Tom's mother's] shock and dismay increased, she said, when the manager told her that Tom had not yet been taken to hospital and that JL had not been arrested because '[Tom] may have consented to it'. There is some disagreement as to how swiftly, and by what means, the various safeguarding authorities became aware of the incident but by the time the police were involved Tom’s underwear had already been put through the laundry." (3) After this article the CQC did prosecute: see CQC v Hillgreen Care Ltd  MHLO 50.