An independent investigation will be launched by the Care Quality Commission into how almost 100 safeguarding concerns raised with the regulator were not passed on to local authorities.
The quality watchdog said it had identified a technical issue within its data management system that meant safeguarding concerns were delayed or prevented from being referred.
It said it had launched an immediate investigation and determined the issue was a “process error” affecting 96 concerns raised with the regulator since July 2017.
The CQC said the concerns have been looked at and said none involved cases where people were at an immediate risk of severe harm.
But it added: “It has meant, however, that information of concern was potentially not shared with local authorities so that they could decide whether they needed to investigate further.”
The regulator is now sharing the information with 51 local councils to check “as quickly as possible” they were aware already of the issues and whether action is needed.
In a statement on its website, the CQC said: “We would like to provide reassurance that no information has been lost and there is no need for any individual or organisation to resubmit any safeguarding concern.
“The system and process error has now been corrected and CQC will be carrying out an independent investigation into the root cause of this situation which CQC’s board will consider and we will report on publically in due course.”
Acting chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said the regulator acted as soon as the error was discovered.
She said: “Our priority is to keep people safe – we do this by taking regulatory action ourselves but we also do it by sharing information with partners. I’m truly sorry that in these 96 cases we may not have shared information that could have helped local authorities to protect people. The independent investigation will assist us in ensuring we improve our systems to avoid something like this happening again.”