The staffing issue that has recently beset CQC and threatened to throw it’s already behind schedule inspection timetable has turned another corner. CQC speaks of the importance of its Experts by Experience to assist with the successful completion of inspections within healthcare settings. Earlier this year CQC handed the contract to fulfil its staffing needs in North, South and London regions to Remploy (formerly a government agency now running for profit).
The Central regions Experts by Experience will continue to be administered by Charity Choice Support. However, despite the charity losing out on the contracts that were awarded to Remploy, CQC has asked Charity Choice Support to help fulfil staffing requirements for Experts by Experience in other regions for the next two weeks. Employees currently within Remploy’s regions have refused to reapply for their positions. It would appear that in spite of David Behan calling the deal to award the contract “a very, very good piece of procurement activity undertaken” it has been an abject failure for the employees that were supposed to migrate seamlessly to the new provider on 1 February 2016.
Whilst this may have made good financial sense on paper for the CQC it does now appear that it doesn’t make the greatest practical sense. The need to reapply for their jobs was just one of the issues that have proven to be a hurdle with Remploy also offering to slash employees pay to half of their previous levels. CQC has stepped in and offered to top up pay to £15 an hour for the next 6 months but this debacle has the air of a reactive regulator who has been blindsided by the profiteering of the very organisation it chose to take on. What would appear to be clear here is that Remploy has unilaterally decided on the best case scenario for it financially. They are not taking into account the serious ramifications refusal to work could have on CQC’s day to day operations- indeed that isn’t their direct consideration as they are essentially a third party contractor.