Two providers of adult social care have applied for injunctions to prevent the publication of Care Quality Commission inspection reports, HSJ can reveal.

  • Two social care providers have applied for injunctions to stop CQC reports being published
  • CQC apologised after publishing one blocked summary by mistake
  • No NHS providers have applied for injunctions

The CQC had to apologise to one of the providers after it mistakenly published online the summary of a report, which was prohibited by a High Court order.

The two providers that applied for injunctions were Able Community Care and Helen McArdle Care, though the latter’s application was unsuccessful.

HSJ obtained the information through a freedom of information request to the regulator. No NHS providers have applied for injunctions.

Angela Gifford, managing director of Able Community Care, which provides live in care services, said it had taken out an injunction “to stop publication of a report written by an inept inspector”.

The CQC confirmed that the High Court made three orders between December 2014 and March 2015 to prohibit the publication of a report based on an inspection of the provider last September.

The regulator said the injunction application concentrated on “the quality of the evidence gathered at the inspection, the factual accuracy of aspects of the report and the quality judgements reached by the CQC”.

It admitted that it mistakenly published a summary of the report on its website after the first of the High Court’s orders in December.

The CQC said in a statement: “This error was acknowledged by the CQC and prompt action taken to remove the summary section. The CQC apologised to the provider for this error and the apology was accepted.”

The regulator also agreed to pay £12,500 towards Able Community Care’s legal costs.

The report was never published and a second inspection in March gave the provider an overall rating of “requires improvement”, with one breach of regulation relating to training and support of staff.

Sue Howard, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care for the central region, said consistency was one of the “core principles” of the organisation’s regulatory approach and it was “committed to listening to provider’s concerns”.

Helen McArdle Care, an operator of care homes in the North East, applied for an injunction to try to prevent the publication of a report that said one of their homes, Acomb Court, was “inadequate”.

The CQC told HSJ it reviewed the report and concluded its content was “accurate and justified”. The High Court refused the application and ordered the provider to pay £5,000 towards the CQC’s legal costs.

A follow-up inspection has since taken place and re-rated the home “good”.

Helen McArdle Care did not respond to HSJ’s request for comment.