It really really does not want to tell you, but England’s care regulator, the CQC, is poised to reveal how many Covid outbreaks have been in homes which it knew were unsafe.
Humm, let’s think. Why might the chief inspector of care homes, be reluctant to disclose how many known 'bad homes' (technical term) had suffered Covid outbreaks? ...It is a complete mystery
But it’s no mystery that the CQC has been so worried that people might not understand this information, that it has refused for five months to say how many Covid-hit care homes were officially ‘bad’.
Even when the Information Commissioner got involved, the CQC was so concerned people might not understand, it insisted on publishing the data itself, alongside its own analysis and commentary.
The CQC has been writing the commentary since May, so it must be incredible.
But you can’t blame England's care champion for not wanting to reveal this information. It’s just the sort of thing people will deliberately misunderstand.
Who knows what families might do if they were, for instance, to find out that officially unsafe care homes are, er, unsafe? Of course, we don't know. But, in that unlikely event, families might panic and decide to move their older relations - and when the CQC has worked so hard to keep them open and to keep the information secret!
Back in May, the CQC said it was going to reveal if ‘bad homes’ were adversely affected – soon.
In June, it said it would provide the information, when it had analysed the data.
In July, it refused to say anything.
In August, it refused to answer a Freedom of Information request, asking how many ‘bad homes’ were affected, saying it is not in the public interest for this information to be published.
In September, in response to the Information Commissioner, it said it is not in the public interest for this information to be published in September. But, quixotically, it will be in the public interest for it to be published in October (by the CQC with its analysis).
So, at long last, the data – and the long-awaited commentary - is about to be published. After all this time, let’s hope it’s good.