A probe into the role of the Care Quality Commission and its actions at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust is due to be made public later this month, HSJ has learned.
The CQC asked consultants Grant Thornton to examine its regulatory actions surrounding the trust in July 2012, following allegations about how it had treated the case.
The trust itself is currently under investigation by police following a number of infant and maternal deaths.
CQC chief executive David Behan is expected to see the report for the first time on 10 June and is planning to present it in public to the organisation’s board on 19 June.
On Friday the review was handed to external lawyers commissioned by the CQC. The CQC said lawyers were reviewing the work “for assurance that there are no legal reasons that impact on publication”.
The report is widely expected to examine the CQC’s handling of concerns surrounding the quality of care at Morecambe Bay. The foundation trust was registered in 2010, despite concerns of staff in the CQC’s North West regional team about care failings.
Grant Thornton was also asked to examine the relationship between former CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower and the former Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman Ann Abraham.
Documents obtained by James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died in the maternity ward at Morecambe Bay’s Furness General Hospital in October 2008, has previously suggested Ms Bower discussed with Ms Abraham whether Mr Abraham needed to investigate Joshua’s death.
Several well-placed sources told HSJ the Grant Thornton report was completed more than a month ago but has been delayed because of legal issues.
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock criticised the delays. He said: “This report is now months overdue, and those who were tragically affected by the regulatory failures have every right to expect a timely publication of its findings.”
A CQC spokesman told HSJ in a statement: “Grant Thornton have sent the report to our external lawyers before anyone at CQC sees it, for assurance that there are no legal reasons that impact on publication.
“This work will not in any way affect the conclusions of the report or the independence of the report.”