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27 April 2012, 11:15 | Updated: 27 April 2012, 11:23
A former care home inspector has been arrested on suspicion of bribery and money laundering after allegations that homes were offered good reports in exchange for money.
The 43-year-old woman, who worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) until being sacked for gross misconduct, was arrested early this morning over allegations that the owners of the homes were being ``pressurised into paying fees for favourable inspection reports'', City of London Police (CoLP) said.
The CQC said it sacked the inspector and called in police following an investigation prompted by a whistleblower found ``the impartiality of their regulatory judgments had been seriously compromised''.
She is being questioned at a local police station in Northamptonshire after being arrested at her home in the county by officers from the CoLP, which leads economic crime investigations, a force spokesman said.
Louise Guss, director of governance and legal services at the CQC, said: ``Our inspectors operate to extremely high standards of integrity and professionalism.
``Unfortunately, in any large workforce there is a risk that a tiny minority may act in a way that betrays the principles of their colleagues and of the organisation as a whole, which is what has happened here.
``Having investigated allegations made to us about this inspector and found these were substantiated, we terminated their employment with immediate effect and referred the matter to the police.
``This inspector has failed the organisation, failed the providers who rely on us to act fairly and impartially, and - most importantly - failed in their responsibility to protect people who use services through identification of poor care.
``CQC operates a zero tolerance policy in regard to fraudulent or dishonest behaviour. As this case makes clear, 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.''