East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust: Triumph CQC style

By Dr Minh Alexander NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist, 14 June 2017

The Care Quality Commission is parading East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust as an example of success and improvement.

CQC has issued a glossy report, Driving Improvement, to bang its drum and spread good news:

CQC 20170614_drivingimprovement June 2017

The foreword by Mike Richards Chief Inspector, complete with beaming photo, starts with these assertions:

“Drawing on findings from inspection reports, CQC’s 2016 State of Care report concluded that effective leadership and a positive, open culture are important drivers of change. In hospitals rated as good or outstanding, the trust boards had worked hard to create a culture where staff felt valued and empowered to suggest improvements and question poor practice.”

The report says: “We set out to explore what eight trusts had done to become ‘well-led’ trusts.”. East Lancashire was one of these eight trusts.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 11.56.13

East Lancashire was one of fourteen so-called ‘Keogh’ trusts and was placed into special measures in 2013 due to high mortality rates.

East Lancashire was rated ‘Good’ overall, and ‘Good’ on Well Led by CQC on 4 January 2017.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 11.52.13

This is despite the following facts:

  • East Lancashire sacked and referred NHS surgeon whistleblower Aditya Agrawal to the GMC, with great scandal and many questions in parliament, some as recently as September 2016.

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  • East Lancashire super-gagged 109 of its staff with settlement agreements that prevented staff from revealing the very existence of these agreements, also leading to questions in parliament.


East Lancashire Hospitals Compromise Agreements FOI 18.05.2016


  • East Lancashire helped to recycle the now convicted fraudster, Paula Vasco-Knight, a former NHS CEO whom an Employment Tribunal found had victimised whistleblowers, with much scandal and also criticism by Robert Francis as “oppressive behaviour” to which no tolerance should be afforded.

The local media reported that Vasco-Knight was hired at a rate of £1000 per day


East Lancashire disclosed via FOI that the total cost incurred by the taxpayer from the trust giving Vasco-Knight a leg up, over 2014/15 and 2015/16, was £248K.

East Lancs Paula Vasco-Knight FOI I Alexander 230516


There is not one word in CQC’s glowing report on East Lancashire about learning from the Agrawal whistleblower case, the 109 super-gags or East Lancashire’s role in recycling Vasco-Knight.

But then, the Health Service Journal listed East Lancashire’s CEO Kevin Mc Gee as a finalist in its Chief Executive of The Year awards in November 2016, so all must be well:


Readers may remember that Paula Vasco-Knight was previously much feted by the NHS establishment and also received a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s honour list:


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Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 10.48.51Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 10.48.09





5 thoughts on “East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust: Triumph CQC style

  1. Thank you for this report.
    You continue with your “Blog of Record.”
    You thus clarify murky waters and record evidence of ‘driving improvement’ and ‘not driving improvement but driving round the bend.’
    Nothing bureaucrats now do can shock me – they are quite shameless.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a shocking summary of a shabby organisation providing glossy edited highlights of a shamed NHS Trust with an appalling culture. Except that it isn’t a shock really, Care Quality Commission: the trick is in the name……..

    Liked by 1 person

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