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News of a "cover-up" at the health regulatory are "deeply disturbing", Downing St has said.
The Prime Minister's spokesman was speaking after the health regulator admitted to concealing an internal review into a series of deaths of mothers and babies at a Cumbria hospital.
An independent report found the Care Quality Commission deleted the review into Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which revealed failings in its inspections at the unit.
Jeremy Hunt will make a statement to the House of Commons on the report this afternoon.
CQC chair David Prior said this morning that the regulator had been “not fit for purpose” at the time of the report, but laid the blame at the door of the previous leadership team, all of whom have now departed.
“The cover-up was a disgrace… this sort of cover-up happens in totally dysfunctional organisations where the culture is rotten to the core, and that was the position at CQC at the time,” he told BBC News.
Local MPs have called for further action against those in charge at the time. Lib Dem president Tim Farron questioned whether the regulator should be “put to sleep” after the report, while Labour’s John Woodcock called on ministers to investigate who in the Government knew what about the situation.
Health Select Committee chairman Stephen Dorrell said the challenge for the CQC now was to take action to make sure it could not happen again.
"This is clearly a very sad tale ... having failed to react, covering up the fact that they’d failed to react, is quite simply unacceptable behaviour anywhere in the public sector, but in particular in a regulator."
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