You are on page 1of 4

From:

Subject:
Date:
To:

Minh Alexander MinhAlexander@aol.com


Transparency and external independent review of CQCs whistleblowing governance as a prescribed body under PIDA
8 September 2015 07:31
Health Committee healthcom@parliament.uk, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk, philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk,
thornberrye@parliament.uk, maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk, liz.mcinnes.mp@parliament.uk,
andrew.percy.mp@parliament.uk, james.davies.mp@parliament.uk, andrea.jenkyns.mp@parliament.uk,
paula.sherriff.mp@parliament.uk
Cc: pubaccom@parliament.uk, meghilliermp@parliament.uk, richardbaconmp@parliament.uk, harriett.baldwin.mp@parliament.uk
, kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk, stewart.jackson.mp@parliament.uk, clive.lewis.mp@parliament.uk,
nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk, david.mowat.mp@parliament.uk, teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk,
stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk, pughj@parliament.uk, nick.smith.mp@parliament.uk, karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk,
annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk, jeremy.heywood@cabinetoffice.gov.uk, publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
, rfrancis@serjeantsinn.com, Katherine Murphy katherine@patients-association.com, Behan, David David.Behan@cqc.org.uk
, public@public-standards.gov.uk, bernard.jenkin.mp@parliament.uk, AnthonyHooper@matrixlaw.co.uk

To#House#of#Commons#Health#Commi1ee,#8#September#2015
#
Dear#Dr#Wollaston#and#fellow#commi1ee#members,
#
Transparency*and*external*independent*review*of*CQCs*whistleblowing*governance*as*a*prescribed*body*under*PIDA
#
As#you#will#be#aware,#many#whistleblowers#were#disappointed#by#Sir#Robert#Francis#Freedom#to#Speak#Up#Review#on#NHS#
whistleblowing.#Whilst#the#Review#conrmed#serious#and#large#scale#suppression,#it#did#not#explore#all#of#the#relevant#issues,#partly#due#
to#restricted#terms#of#reference.#The#Review#therefore#did#not#formulate#recommendaNons#that#dealt#with#the#full#extent#of#the#
problems.
#
You#will#also#be#aware#that#whistleblowers#have#consequently#pressed#on#with#their#own#eorts#to#explore#the#system#issues#that#
underlie#the#full#scale#of#past#and#conNnuing#failures,#especially#the#criNcal#role#of#health#regulators#in#leading#good#pracNce.
#
CQC#as#the#main#prescribed#body#under#PIDA#which#receives#disclosures#from#health#workers,#has#unequalled#access#and#a#naNonal#
perspecNve#on#whistleblowing#issues.#Eighteen#months#ago,#in#February#2014,#CQC#gave#the#Health#Commi1ee#wri1en#assurance#that#it#
was#making#eorts#to#improve#its#handling#of#whistleblowing,#and#that#it#was#commissioning#an#external#independent#review#of#how#as#
a#prescribed#body#under#PIDA,#it#handles#protected#disclosures:
#
31.%An%external%independent%review%will%also%be%conducted%looking%at%how%CQC%handles%protected%disclosures%made%to%it%as%
a%prescribed%person,%under%the%Public%Interest%Disclosure%Act%(PIDA)%by%sta%in%care%providers%and%can%support%people%who%
approach%the%CQC%under%PIDA.%The%terms%of%reference%of%both%of%these%reviews%have%just%been%nalised.%It%is%anLcipated%
that%the%reviews%will%be%completed%by%Spring%2014."%[1]
!
In#July#this#year#I#asked#CQC#if#this#important#exercise#had#been#completed#and#whether#informaNon#was#available#about#the#outcome.#
[2]
#
CQC#advised#last#month#that#this#review#had#been#delayed#and#had#not#yet#been#completed.#[3]#When#asked#for#further#informaNon#[4],#
CQC#revealed#yesterday#in#carefully#worded#reply#that#the#review#started#in#September#2014,#that#no#compleNon#date#could#be#given#
and#that#there#was#no#intenNon#to#publish#the#results#of#the#review.#[5]
#
It#is#surprising#that#CQC#was#able#last#year#to#given#an#esNmated#compleNon#date,#but#now#mysNfyingly#cannot.#It#is#also#perplexing#that#
a#project#that#was#originally#to#take#no#more#than#a#few#months#is#sNll#not#nished#a]er#commencement#a#year#ago.#Most#astonishing#is#
CQCs#indicaNon#that#it#does#not#intend#to#publish#any#report#on#this#work,#that#has#been#funded#from#the#public#purse#about#its#
performance#as#a#public#body.
#
This#follows#a#previous#disclosure#by#CQC#that#it#hired#a#lawyer#to#review#its#handling#of#whistleblowing#by#its#own#sta #but#that#most#
surprisingly,#no#wri1en#report#was#produced.#[3]#This#was#especially#worrying#in#the#context#that#a#recent#Department#of#Health#
invesNgaNon#of#CQCs#tendering#process#was#triggered#by#a#CQC#whistleblowers#disclosure.#[6]

#
Added#to#CQCs#conNnuing#tardiness,#and#arguably#resistance,#to#publishing#its#whistleblowing#data#(I#have#copied#Health#Commi1ee#
into#the#ongoing#correspondence),#CQCs#refusal#to#publish#a#report#of#the#external#whistleblowing#governance#review#is#unseemly.#This#
contrasts#sharply#with#the#intelligent#transparency#that#CQC#demands#of#the#organisaNons#that#it#regulates.
It#is#surely#wrong,#and#unsafe#for#paNents,#that#the#regulator#who#controversially#requires#GP#surgeries#to#wear#a#visible#scarlet#le1er##I#
for#Inadequate#will#not#agree#to#transparency#about#its#own#performance,#on#a#ma1er#of#intense#public#interest.
#
It#also#seems#unacceptable#that#CQC#will#not#disclose#the#results#of#external#review#of#its#whistleblowing#governance#when#only#a#few#
months#ago#Dr#Bill#Kirkup#concluded#that#NHS#organisaNons#should#not#be#allowed#the#opNon#of#withholding#the#ndings#of#external#
reviews.
#
RecommendaNon#25#of#the#Report#of#the#Morecambe#Bay#InvesNgaNon#states:
#
We%recommend%that%a%duty%should%be%placed%on%all%NHS%Boards%to%report%openly%the%ndings%of%any%external%invesLgaLon%into%
clinical%services,%governance%or%other%aspects%of%the%operaLon%of%the%Trust,%including%prompt%noLcaLon%of%relevant%external%bodies%
such%as%the%Care%Quality%Commission%and%Monitor.%The%Care%Quality%Commission%should%develop%a%system%to%disseminate%learning%
from%invesLgaLons%to%other%Trusts.%AcLon:%the%Department%of%Health,%the%Care%Quality%Commission%[7]
%
CQC#should#at#least#match#the#standards#of#conduct#required#of#the#organisaNons#that#it#regulates.##NHS#sta#need#clear#reassurance#
about#the#soundness#of#CQCs#culture#and#processes#as#part#of#building#a#healthier#reporNng#culture#and#ulNmately,#Safeguarding#
paNents.
#
I#therefore#pass#this#to#Health#Commi1ee#as#a#ma1er#that#I#hope#it#will#address#in#accountability#hearings#with#the#CQC.##I#a1ach#all#the#
relevant#correspondence.
#
I#copy#this#to#the#Commi1ee#for#Standards#in#Public#Life#as#I#am#concerned#that#CQCs#behaviour#is#not#in#keeping#with#Nolan#
expectaNons#of#transparency#and#accountability,#and#also#with#reference#to#the#Commi1ees#current#review#of#regulators#approach#to#
ethical#issues.
#
I#also#copy#it#to#Public#Accounts#Commi1ee#(PAC)#in#relaNon#to#PACs#2014#recommendaNons#for#transparency#on#public#sector#
whistleblowing#[8]#and#to#the#Cabinet#Oce#in#relaNon#to#the#governments#adopNon#in#December#2014#of#PACs#recommendaNons#[9],#
and#to#Sir#Anthony#Hooper#with#respect#to#the#2013#Whistleblowing#Commissions#recommendaNons#about#regulatory#transparency.#
[10]
#
Yours#sincerely,
#
Dr#Minh#Alexander
#
Cc#Commi1ee#on#Standards#in#Public#Life
######Public#Accounts#Commi1ee
######Sir#Robert#Francis#QC,#NED#CQC
######Sir#Anthony#Hooper#
######Secretary#of#State
######Sir#Jeremy#Heywood
######Katherine#Murphy#Chief#ExecuNve#PaNents#AssociaNon

######David#Behan#Chief#ExecuNve#CQC
######
#
[1]##Wri1en#evidence#February#2014,#by#Care#Quality#Commission#to#House#of#Commons#Health#Commi1ees#inquiry#into#Complaints#
and#Raising#Concerns##
#######
h1p://data.parliament.uk/Wri1enEvidence/Commi1eeEvidence.svc/EvidenceDocument/Health/Complaints%20and%20Raising%20Con
cerns/wri1en/7294.html
#[2]##Correspondence#to#CQC#14#July#2015
[3]##Correspondence#from#CQC#11#August#2015
[4]##Correspondence#to#CQC#16#August#2015
[5]##Correspondence#from#CQC#7#September#2015
[6]##The#Report#of#the#Morecambe#Bay#InvesNgaNon#by#Dr#Bill#Kirkup,#March#2015
########h1ps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/a1achment_data/le/408480/47487_MBI_Accessible_v0.1.pdf
[7]###Health#Group#Internal#Audit:#Protected#Disclosure#in#2014##Review#of#two#2013#Care#Quality#Commission#procurements:#1.#Risk#
Based#Intelligence#Approach#2.#OrganisaNonal#Design#and#Structure,#Department#of#Health#June#2015
######h1ps://www.gov.uk/government/publicaNons/reviewpofp2pcqcpprocurementspmadepinp2013
[8]##Whistleblowing.#House#of#Commons#Public#Accounts#Commi1ee#Ninth##report#of#session#2014p2015,#1#August#2014
######h1p://www.publicaNons.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmpubacc/593/593.pdf
[9]##Treasury#Minutes#Government#responses#on#the#Ninth;#the#Sixteenth#and#Seventeenth;#and#the#Nineteenth#to#the#TwenNeth#reports#
from#the#Commi1ee#of#Public#Accounts:#Session#2014p15;#and#progress#of#Government#Cash#Management,#17#December#2014
#####h1ps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/a1achment_data/le/388719/45502_Cm_8988_Accessible.pdf
[10]#The#Whistleblowing#Commission,##Report#on#the#eecNveness#of#exisNng#arrangements#for#workplace#whistleblowing#in#the#UK,#
Public#Concern#at#Work#November#2014#h1p://www.pcaw.org.uk/les/WBC%20Report%20Final.pdf

Correspondence CQC
Ext Indep Rnance .pdf