NEWSFLASH: CQC denies denial

Dr Minh Alexander NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist 16 September 2017

 

I raised a concern with the CQC Chair Peter Wyman about a Chief Inspector’s written denial of allegations, by the campaigning charity Compassion in Care, that CQC had breached the confidentiality of 47 whistleblowers.

“we do not recognise this statement”

Letter by Andrea Sutcliffe CQC Chief Inspector to Compassion in Care 14 July 2017

This was in the light of a subsequent admission by CQC that it had not audited its policy of whistleblower confidentiality since 2013, when David Behan its chief executive promised that CQC would keep whistleblowers’ identities secret. The factual basis of Andrea Sutcliffe’s denial was therefore not apparent:

Letter to Peter Wyman Andrea Sutcliffe denial 13.09.2017

Peter Wyman Chair responded within two days to deny that Ms Sutcliffe had denied anything:

Wyman response re Sutcliffe denial 15.09.2017 POCU 1516 0181

Notwithstanding the tensions between plain English and the CQC’s linguistic acrobatics, I have asked Peter Wyman if the CQC will audit whether it has kept Behan’s promise of confidentiality, and if it will involve whistleblowers in the design of any audit.

 

BY EMAIL

Peter Wyman

CQC Chair

15 September 2017

Dear Mr Wyman,

Basis of denial by a CQC Chief Inspector

Thank you for your swift response.

Whilst some might accept that one interpretation of Ms Sutcliffe’s words might be that they are not an outright denial, I doubt that the average reasonable person would take her words to mean anything but a denial.

I would suggest that it would be helpful if CQC does not use such language, particularly where it knows that there is no proper basis for any denial.

Now that CQC implicitly concedes that there was no proper basis for any denial, may I ask if it will systematically audit whether it has complied with its policy of whistleblower confidentiality.

Whistleblowers would be happy to help co-produce any such audit if CQC is willing to examine its practices in this way.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

Cc

PACAC, PAC and Health Committee Chairs

Sir Robert Francis CQC

Dr Henrietta Hughes National Freedom To Speak Up Guardian, CQC

 

delay-deny

 

UPDATE 19 SEPTEMBER 2017

Peter Wyman CQC Chair has today replied but omitted to answer whether CQC will audit its compliance with its policy of whistleblower confidentiality:

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 11.42.37

 

I have pointed to CQC’s own past admissions that it has breached whistleblower confidentiality and the case for audit, and put the question again to Peter Wyman:

BY EMAIL

Peter Wyman

Chair, Care Quality Commission

19 September 2017

Dear Mr Wyman,

Audit of CQC compliance with CQC’s policy of whistleblower confidentiality

Thank you for another swift response.

I do not recognise your response as an answer to my question about whether CQC will audit its compliance with its policy of whistleblower confidentiality.

It is difficult to have confidence in the CQC’s claims of progress if they are not based on evidence.

General audit is separate to any specific investigation that you may wish to undertake, or not, into the allegations by Compassion in Care of breached confidentiality.

To be clear, I have made no request that you investigate the allegations by Compassion in Care.

Notwithstanding the fact that it is good practice to conduct routine audit (which CQC admits it has not done), CQC has admitted on several occasions that it has breached whistleblowers’ confidentiality.*  This additionally makes the case for audit.

Therefore, I would be grateful for an answer on whether CQC will audit and I remain available to help co-produce any audit, as do other whistleblowers.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

The occasions on which CQC has admitted breaching whistleblower confidentiality:

1) David Behan publicly admitted in 2013 that CQC had breached a whistleblower’s confidentiality

2) CQC apologised to Helen Rochester for breaching her confidentiality when she previously whistleblew in 2013

3) CQC admitted in 2014 that it breached NHS surgeon and whistleblower Shiban Ahmed’s confidentiality

cc PACAC, PAC and Health Committee Chairs

Sir Robert Francis CQC

Dr Henrietta Hughes National Freedom To Speak Up Guardian, CQC

 

UPDATE 21 SEPTEMBER 2017

The CQC Chair has today replied as follows:

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 15.39.29

 

Accordingly, I have referred this matter to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee:

BY EMAIL

Public Accounts Committee

21 September 2017

Dear Ms Hillier and colleagues,

CQC refusal to audit its compliance with its policy of whistleblower confidentiality

Further to my letter of 11 September asking PAC to consider a re-review of whistleblowing 1, I write to submit additional evidence in support of my request.

Please find attached a letter of today’s date from Peter Wyman CQC Chair in which he declines to audit CQC’s compliance with its policy of whistleblower confidentiality.

Although CQC disclosed via FOI on 3 August 2 that it had not undertaken any such audit since 2013 when David Behan promised to respect whistleblowers’ confidentiality, Mr Wyman now states that CQC routinely ‘monitors’ its compliance with policies. I am not clear what this means, but I am unable to clarify it as Mr Wyman advises that he will not correspond any further on this subject.

I remain unconvinced that CQC has acted responsibly as regards its duty of care towards whistleblowers and therefore towards service users.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

Cc

Chairs of PACAC and Health Committee

Sir Robert Francis CQC NED

Dr Henrietta Hughes National Freedom To Speak Up Guardian

Sir Amyas Morse NAO

Lord Bew CSPL

Margaret Hodge MP

1 https://minhalexander.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/letter-to-public-accounts-committee-11-sep-2017-re-review-of-whistleblowing.pdf

2 https://minhalexander.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/cqc-foi-disclosure-whistleblower-confidentiality-3-august-2017-foi-final-decision-notice-cqc-iat-1718-0210.pdf

 

RELATED ITEMS

Helen Rochester v CQC, Act II: Wherein a whistleblower Sueth a Prescribed Person

https://minhalexander.com/2017/09/09/helen-rochester-v-cqc-act-ii-wherein-a-whistleblower-sueth-a-prescribed-person/

National Guardian ‘Expects’

https://minhalexander.com/2017/09/03/national-guardian-expects/

Breach of confidentiality by CQC and complicity in referring a whistleblower to the Disclosure and Barring Service

https://minhalexander.com/2017/06/22/cqc-involved-in-a-whistleblowers-referral-to-the-disclosure-barring-service/

The CQC denies…

https://minhalexander.com/2017/01/08/the-cqc-denies/

National Guardian independent: The CQC denies some more…

https://minhalexander.com/2017/01/19/national-guardian-independence-the-cqc-denies-some-more/

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “NEWSFLASH: CQC denies denial

  1. “we do not recognise this statement”
    In which case – you should have gone to Specsavers!

    (It appears our learned friends as well as P.R. experts are advising – oh, dear)

    Thanks, Dr. A.

    Zara

    Like

  2. 🙂 Quite. I have seen this curious form of words several times before. I confess I find it a rather oily construction. I don’t think any public body should be in the business of such making loaded comments before investigating serious allegations. Otherwise it could look like they are trying to browbeat the public. Tut tut.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for replying.

      Those words were said to me after I hinted at endemic ‘wrong-doings’ at my place of work,
      After that, I realised my time there was finished.

      I wish you a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

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