Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Rape allegation concerns investigated.
The body that regulates health and social care in England admits it could have acted more quickly after an alleged rape at a north London home for people with learning disabilities.
The rape is alleged to have happened in November 2015 and the home closed a year later.
An article in national newspaper, The Times, accused the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of a cover-up over the allegation.
The CQC, which has said it will investigate what could have been done differently, inspected the residential care home, run by Hillgreen Care, following the alleged rape of a former resident, and carried out further inspections in January and March 2016.
The alleged incident was also subject to a police investigation, which concluded in December 2016.
The Times said that there was insufficient evidence for charges to be made because the victim was unable to speak and his clothing, containing potential DNA evidence, was washed soon afterwards.
CQC chief executive, Sir David Behan, said: "Whilst we did take action that led to the closure of this and two other services run by the Hillgreen Care Ltd, I believe that we could, and should, have taken action more speedily, both to ensure people were safe and in prosecuting this provider."
He said that, as a result, he was commissioning an independent investigation, "which will report publicly to the CQC board and identify what has happened, what we should have done differently and which will make recommendations to strengthen our future work.
"We expect openness and transparency from those we regulate and we will hold ourselves to account to those same standards."
The CQC now has criminal powers to prosecute providers and individuals when people in their care have been harmed or placed at risk of harm.
It said it was "actively pursuing" what further action it could now take against Hillgreen Care.
A CQC inspection report from January 2016 found that the care home had serious issues with food safety, hygiene and cleanliness. There was also no registered manager working in the home.
The report concluded that: "people were at risk because the service did not have effective systems and management oversight.”
The Times said that solicitors for Hillgreen Care described many of the criticisms as "unfair and inaccurate.”