Dr Minh Alexander 18 November 2022
This is a brief post to raise awareness that an interview of Mr Shyam Kumar about his whistleblowing experience at the Care Quality Commission will take place on 24 November 2022 and will be streamed:
Mr Shyam Kumar was appallingly treated by the CQC. An Employment Tribunal made decisive findings that he suffered detriment and was unfairly dismissed explicitly because he made public interest disclosures.
The ET rejected the CQC’s unpleasant dissembling during the ET process, which shockingly and falsely tried to cast him as a troublemaker and bully all through proceedings.
The details of the case and key documents can be found here:
On 11 September 2022 I asked Ian Trenholm, CQC’s CEO several questions about CQC’s and his own actions with regard to Mr Kumar’s case, and CQC’s whistleblowing governance.
Despite an indication from Trenholm’s Office that there would be a response, none has been issued, This is despite reminders.
These are just a few of the unanswered questions that I put to Ian Trenholm:
“8. Would you like to comment on the fact that only 47% of CQC staff replied affirmatively in the 2019 CQC staff survey to survey question number 62: “62. I think it is safe to challenge the way things are done in CQC”
The Civil Service all organisation median for this question in 2019 was 50%.
In 2019, the NHS staff survey revealed that 71.7% of staff who participated stated that they would feel secure to raise a concern about unsafe clinical care.
Would you also like to comment on why only CQC staff surveys for 2018 and 2019 are published on this CQC webpage:
Were there no CQC staff surveys in 2020 and 2021, or is it that the survey was done in those years but the results were not published?
If CQC did carry out staff surveys in 2020 and 2021, will it now publish the results on this webpage?
Dr Minh Alexander
Cc Ian Dilks CQC Chair, CQC press office”
Of concern, the CQC has been allowed to control an investigation into its own behaviour in Shyam Kumar’s case and a “selected” number of other cases of NHS trust whistleblowers.
There is no transparency about how the NHS trust cases have been selected – which gives rise to a concern that the selection is in CQC’s favour.
Of immense concern, the investigation terms of reference did NOT include any examination of CQC’s general whistleblowing governance. This is incomprehensible given:
- CQC’s recurrent history of victimising its own whistleblowers
- CQC’s appalling behaviour in Mr Kumar’s case
Surely when something so serious has happened, such as a regulatory cover up, it should be automatic to review the whole system which gave rise to it?
The exclusion of any examination of CQC’s general whistleblowing governance from the investigation is a slap in the face for CQC staff. Indeed, it is intimidatory, and possibly intended to be so.
But it is not so surprising given that CQC seems not to have accounted for its workforce relations in recent years.
Also, CQC recently unlawfully evaded an FOI request about its whistleblowing governance and failed to disclose internal reports by its own Freedom To Speak Up Guardian:
What is going on at CQC that requires such obfuscation?
No matter how much CQC tries to spin and manipulate its investigation to its advantage, a strong stink is still present.
Please click and add your signature to this petition to reform UK whistleblowing law – whistleblowers protect us all but weak UK law leaves them wholly exposed, lets abusers off the hook and it is a threat to public safety.
Ian Trenholm CQC CEO was previously CEO of NHS Blood and Transplant 2014-2018. There have been several recent media revelations of bullying and Race discrimination at NHS Blood and Transplant, some of which reportedly took place when Trenholm was CEO.