Dr Minh Alexander NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist 10 February 2019
On Monday 28 November 2011, two Care Quality Commission (CQC) whistleblowers Kay Sheldon Non Executive Director and Amanda Pollard Senior CQC Inspector gave evidence at the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry on serious concerns about the health and care regulator
These are their witness statements and exhibits, and a transcript of the Inquiry session on 28 November 2011:
There had been publicity in advance of the hearing:
On the Friday before the two whistleblowers gave their evidence to the Inquiry, Jo Williams CQC Chair sent the following message to all CQC staff, about the damage that might be done to the CQC’s reputation. The letter stated:
“The kind of coverage we may get next week damages our reputation, damages our colleagues and weakens the future of the organisation, which we have all worked tirelessly to build over the last two and half years.
It is not in our interests, nor the public’s whom we seek to serve, to have damaging accusations and personal opinions voiced in the media, because a weaker CQC will find it harder to challenge poor care.”
Jo Williams eventually announced her departure from the CQC in autumn 2012.
She returned to the NHS in November 2016 when she was appointed as a trust Non Executive Director at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust:
Williams was also for a period appointed as a Non Executive Director at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that she had been promoted to Chair of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust:
The CQC twice inspected Alder Hey after Jo Williams was appointed as a trust NED. On the most recent occasion in 2018, CQC rated the trust as “Good” on the well led domain, and it commented favourably on the trust’s compliance with Regulation 5, Fit and Proper Persons. This regulation requires that regulated bodies must appoint suitable directors:
Our rating of the trust stayed the same. We rated it as good because:
• We rated well-led as good because the trust had a vision for what it wanted to achieve with plans to turn it into action. Staff throughout the trust were aware of the vision and values. There was an experienced and stable leadership team who were committed to improving services, through learning research and innovation. The trust had made improvements to the fit and proper person process since the last inspection.”
UPDATE 8 MARCH 2019
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation trust has disclosed details of how the great and the good gave references and helped to recycle Jo Williams back into an NHS board position:
The unfair sacking of Andrew Smith, NHS whistleblower and trade union representative. A heady cocktail of tainted ingredients. Or how CQC, NHS Improvement & Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust worked together on FPPR.