Those wanting to explore what went wrong at Southern Cross might take solace from Vince Cable’s words today that he might launch an investigation into the role of private equity in social care.
“I have asked my officials to look carefully at the business models of companies that provide public services and to ensure that they are stable and the sector regulators responsible for them are able to act responsibly,” Mr Cable said.
Is this the same review which Mr Cable vaguely mentioned on Monday – before admitting that his officials had told him that his hands were tied? As the Guardian reported then:
“I’ve asked my department to see whether there is an underlying problem with private equity companies supplying public services,” he told the GMB. “The provisional view is that this is very much a matter for the sector regulators – the care quality commission and Monitor – but I will continue [to see] whether we can pursue that further.”
In other words, the view was (at least three days ago) that it’s probably someone else’s issue.