By Dr Minh Alexander NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist 11 May 2018
Peter Wyman a former PwC partner was appointed as Chair of the Care Quality Commission in December 2015 amidst concerns.
Most recently, he has given whistleblowers cause for concern by flatly refusing to audit CQC’s handling of whistleblower confidentiality.
This was despite the regulator admitting to some breaches of confidentiality and being accused of many more, which it denied despite having conducted no audit. Wyman has remained fixed in his position even though his own fellow CQC board member David Behan recently breached confidentiality.
Wyman has been treasurer at Bath University since 2011.
Both he and Glynis Breakwell the vice-chancellor of the university are Deputy Lieutenants of Somerset.
Breakwell stepped down as VC last year after a furore over her stupendous £468K plus remuneration package:
‘In an interview with ITV, she also attributed her pay to market forces, saying: “I think that we have a situation where we are in a globally competitive market for talent in higher education and that’s particularly true in terms of the leaders of higher education.”
Yet the terms of her departure, which include a paid sabbatical, continued accommodation in a listed Georgian townhouse and the write-off of a £31,500 car loan, only seem to have fanned the flames.’
FT 2 Dec 2017: Britain’s vice chancellors accused of taking the biscuit on pay
The university’s governance was criticised after an investigation by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which had been triggered by a complaint from Lord Andrew Adonis:
HEFCE Report of an enquiry into a governance matter at the University of Bath November 2017
Breakwell reportedly voted against this motion at a university meeting despite a conflict of interest:
“That Court makes representation to Council that it is concerned at the lack of transparency and accountability of the Remuneration Committee and the decisions the Remuneration Committee has made in the past year.”
HEFE concluded that conflicts of interest had not been properly managed by the university:
“The university’s handling of the motion proposed by a Court member about the conduct of the Remuneration Committee at the Court meeting of 23 February 2017 was flawed and has, in our view, resulted in damage to the reputation of the university. All Court members were permitted to vote on the motion without their eligibility to vote being clarified or established before the vote took place. Certain members of Court were, in HEFCE’s view, clearly conflicted by the motion under consideration.”
Nicolas Soames MP tweeted:
Parallel to all this, Breakwell’s appointment to the Board of NHS Improvement as a Non Executive Director was announced in April 2016, shortly after Wyman had been appointed as Chair of CQC.
November 2010 Glynis Breakwell appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset
January 2011 Peter Wyman appointed Bath University Treasurer
December 2014 Peter Wyman appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset
December 2015 Peter Wyman appointed as CQC Chair
April 2016 Glynis Breakwell appointed as NHSI NED
28 November 2018 Bath University announced that Glynis Breakwell would retire in February 2019
FOI data obtained from Bath University about the background and characters at Bath was reported in this article for the Bath Chronicle:
First freedom of information request gives student insight into University of Bath’s governance
And wouldn’t you know it, but Breakwell has been chairing NHS Improvement’s Remuneration committee. NHSI was asked about details of its Remuneration committee in February, and was uncharacteristically tardy in replying. There were tales of ‘the dog ate your email’ etc, but NHSI finally admitted on 10 May 2018 that Breakwell oversees its Remuneration committee:
NHS Improvement FOI disclosure 10 May 2018 Remuneration Committee
NHSI FOI disclosure Remuneration Committee Annex 1
NHSI FOI disclosure Remuneration Committee Annex 2
An enquiry to Jeremy Hunt about whether he would review Glynis Breakwell’s position at NHS Improvement in the light of the HEFCE report findings resulted in this opaque response of 10 January 2018, upon which his Department refused to elaborate:
“Our ref: DE-1108526
Dear Dr Alexander,
Thank you for your correspondence of 26 November to Jeremy Hunt about Dame Glynis Breakwell’s position on the board of NHS Improvement. I have been asked to reply and I apologise for the delay in doing so.
Dame Glynis was appointed to the NHS Improvement Board until March 2020. All public appointments are reviewed before their end date in readiness for either a future decision to re-appoint or to run an open competition for a new member.
I hope this reply is helpful.
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care”
But who cares how all this looks when the Secretary of State himself shrugs off breaking money laundering law.
Jeremy Hunt got ‘bulk discount’ on seven flats from Tory donor
In contrast to the pay afforded to senior NHS officials, NHS Improvement cannot manage the NHS whistleblower employment support scheme effectively, nor even get a sacked whistleblower a guaranteed interview for a Healthwatch vacancy (£22K to £25K per annum) when he was more than qualified.
The Greasy Freedom To Speak Up Review: More Tales of Silence about Silence
4 thoughts on “Masters of the Universe: CQC, NHS Improvement & Dame Glynis Breakwell”
Dizzingly terrifying but sadly predictable Monitor has gone, replaced by NHS Improvement whose remit expressly relies heavily far more than before on the not fit for purpose CCQ. So we have no regulation or accountability per se of our NHS let alone a chance of whistleblowing, as no where to blow to. Thank you for your time in unearthing all this horror. best Wishes Finola
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I remember seeing the newspaper headlines regarding Breakwell’s salary at Bath and was so upset and outraged that I couldn’t read the article.
Her washing up as a high ranker in the NHS merely illustrates how corrupt that organization has become, notwithstanding the majority, who I’m sure are struggling along as best they can whilst carrying the burden of such shameless creatures.
I’m speechless at the breadth of the corruption and the shallowness of the parasites.
I thank you for investigating and publishing even though it is a heartbreaker.
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You speak the truth Dr A and I thank you for all your heard work.
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It’s even harder to understand why those in power ignore these goings on. No accountability is the norm these days, right across the board. Thank you for keeping up your fearless fight, can’t be easy.
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