By Dr Minh Alexander retired consultant psychiatrist 27 November 2022
CQC has a history of poor transparency about its staff surveys. In 2015, I asked for sight of CQC’s staff surveys. CQC subsequently announced that it would routinely publish future staff surveys. However, the data is not presented in a complete and accessible way. A current CQC staffing transparency page displays only results for 2018 and 2019. Results for 2020 appear to be missing from CQC’s website. It is possible that a survey was not even carried out in 2020. Results for the 2021 survey and surveys before 2018 could only be found only by a manual search of archived CQC board papers.
The 2021 CQC people survey shows:
Only 49% of CQC staff think it is safe to challenge the way CQC does things.
Of those who think it is not safe,
– 29% of these staff fear repercussions if they speak up
– 10% of these staff have actually experienced repercussions
The Care Quality Commission demands accountability from others, but CQC itself is often not accountable.
CQC employs over three thousand staff (FTE). The CQC staff surveys are of interest in that they have showed poor speaking up culture.
This is particularly significant in the wake of CQC’s proven persecution of its whistleblower Shyam Kumar, senior surgeon.
In June 2015 I asked for sight of CQC’s staff survey reports (called “people surveys”) and compiled this table from the results provided:
CQC announced in October 2015 that it would publish future people surveys.
Currently only the results for the 2018 and 2019 People Survey are published on CQC’s transparency web page about staff matters.
Some CQC “pulse” staff surveys, which are undertaken more frequently, are published but it seems the public dataset is not complete.
I could find no single place on the CQC website where all of CQC’s people survey reports are transparently gathered in one place.
I asked Ian Trenholm CQC CEO on 11 September 2022 if the missing CQC people survey reports from 2020 and 2021 would be published on the relevant CQC transparency web page.
He has still not answered, despite a reminder.
I have asked the Department of Health Permanent Secretary about his expectations of CQC transparency as an arms length body of the Department.
I have also trawled back through CQC’s archived board papers.
But I could find no 2020 CQC people survey report attached to CQC board papers.
It is possible that no survey was even carried out in 2020, as a survey in 2021 references 2019 results as a comparator, and not 2020.
The 2021 CQC people survey report was located after a manual search of archived board papers.
It is relevant to point out that the Civil Service People survey results are all displayed in one central place, and benchmark reports transparently provide all previous years’ results, to assist interpretation and show trends more clearly. This is a much more accountable approach.
The 2021 CQC people survey showed that less than half (49%) of CQC staff believe “it is safe to challenge the way things are done at CQC”:
Earlier CQC staff surveys, before 2018, also had to be located by a manual search of archived CQC board papers.
The scores on speaking up culture at CQC across the last six years have been poor overall, with less than half of staff feeling safe to challenge the status quo, but with a recent trend of improvement.
|YEAR OF SURVEY||Percentage of staff replying affirmatively to CQC people survey question “I think it is safe to challenge the way things are done at CQC” |
(Agree or Strongly Agree)
|2015 report||The question appears either not to have been asked, or alternatively, not reported in the results|
|2020||No data published|
Of interest, the 2021 CQC people survey report gives a more detailed breakdown of the results for this question:
It showed that of the CQC staff who feel that it is NOT safe to challenge the way things are done at CQC,
- 29% fear repercussions
- 10% have actually experienced repercussions.
Even amongst those who think that it is safe to challenge things at CQC:
- 5 percent indicated that they feared repercussion.
- 15% thought there would be a lack of action by CQC.
Not great statistics for a regulator who polices other organisations’ culture.
Meanwhile, the CQC has wasted more public money by hiring consultants to assist with one of two insider-controlled review of whistleblowing governance and race discrimination.
CQC’s suppression of problems at Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
Barry Stanley Wilkinson former CQC inspector gave evidence to parliament that he had raised concerns about CQC suppression of governance issues at TEWV.
There has been a string of patient deaths and also a homicide since then.
An independent review of the investigation undertaken by Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust into the care and treatment of Mr H
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