City of London police have confirmed the arrest of a former Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector, on suspicion of bribery and money laundering, following allegations that care home owners were offered "favourable inspection reports" in return for cash.
The unnamed 42-year-old, arrested at home in Northamptonshire, is being questioned by police. Detective Inspector James Clancey, said: "We are working closely with CQC to thoroughly investigate these allegations. We are appealing to anyone who may have information linked to these allegations to come forward."
The force, which takes the lead in economic crime, said that anyone with information should contact the Care Quality Commission, which regulates the health and social care system, which had been alerted to this case because of a "whistleblower".
In a statement, the CQC said an "internal investigation revealed that the impartiality of regulatory judgments had been seriously compromised".
Confirming that an inspector had been dismissed for "gross misconduct", the director of governance and legal services at the CQC, Louise Guss, said: "Having investigated allegations made to us about this inspector [the CQC] terminated their employment with immediate effect and referred the matter to the police.
"CQC operates a zero tolerance policy in regard to fraudulent or dishonest behaviour ? We take any credible allegations relating to this behaviour extremely seriously and, following a full investigation, will take the swiftest and most severe action possible against any member of staff found guilty."