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Whistleblowers to be interviewed by CQC inspectors


Care Quality Commission inspection teams will actively seek out whistleblowers to help them make judgements about the quality a healthcare provider, Nursing Times has learnt.

The CQC’s latest move aims to give complainants and whistleblowers a central role in its new inspection regime.

It follows continued focus on the way the NHS treats whistleblowers who raise patient safety concerns, including through Nursing Times’ Speak out Safely campaign.

The campaign aims to ensure nurses and other health service staff can raise concerns about patient care without fear of reprisal.

The CQC’s plans were revealed in a letter from CQC chief executive David Behan to patient safety campaigner Will Powell.

Mr Powell’s son Robbie died in 1990, aged 10, after doctors repeatedly failed to diagnose or treat a suspected case of Addison’s Disease. An inquest later ruled the youngster died of natural causes but that negligence played a part.

In a letter to Mr Powell David Behan said: “As we build our new approach to inspection we will inspect the way the hospital listens to and responds to whistleblowers and complainants. This will include speaking to a number of individuals directly.

“In particular we intend to offer recent whistleblowers and a representative sample of complainants, the opportunity to meet with our teams as part of the inspection process.

The CQC’s chief Inspector of hospitals Mike Richards is investigating how inspection teams will identify whistleblowers to interview.

Mr Powell, who has campaigned for a legal duty of candour, said: “Historical whistleblowers are as important as current ones and the CQC should be looking at all whistleblowers, complainants and complaints departments. I think this is a step forward to get this kind of commitment.”


Readers' comments (26)

  • 'the CQC should be looking at all whistleblowers, complainants and complaints departments'

    Yes it should.

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  • I agree but this is real progress - and I say that as a previously fairly ferocious critic of the CQC

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  • I have to say that my biggest surprise is that the CQC weren't already doing it. I guess that this effectively makes us all de facto CQC Inspectors in that we are able to be their eyes and ears on a day to day basis.

    Quite right too, although its a shame that it is necessary to have to do it in the first place.

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  • They should have been doing this all along.

    They should ask H & S reps and activists what the problems. But Managers get rid of vocal people by bending policies. I Know.

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  • The organisation I work for and where I and others have Whistle Blowed have denied we WB and therefore they have not investigated the concerns. Therefore if concerns raised are hidden and WB in an organisation not acknowledged then how will CQC know ther are WB to interview?
    I have personally contacted David Behan and he has passed my email onto his Customer service department.

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  • I know of a previous General Manager of a community Truat who deliberately covered up a patient's death caused by negligence and management failure re no risk assessment and no policy. This manager also covered up a number of other serious concerns and permitted managers beneath her to behave against the NHS managers code of conduct and their own and her professional bodies and I believe after taking MALS she went to the CQC and now works there. If this is true which I believe it is then how can we trust the CQC if they employ individuals with this history.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Oct-2013 1:53 pm

    if these allegations are very serious and if they are true they have to be reported and exposed. there is no use just printing such an anecdote retrospectively in the comments.

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  • Anonymous 20 oct 13 1.53pm these concerns and others have been reported and those who reported them have been subjected to a variety of malicious allegations in order to deflect from the concerns and sully the reputations of the WB's concerned.. This results in the WB's being placed in such fear they have nowhere to turn they cannot trust anyone and no one in power seems to care and fails to step up and stand up for them. THE HELL these WB's have been put through cannot be overexagerated causing them to live in fear suffer serious ill health affecting their physical and mental wellbeing and their family andf friends relationships in addition to their professional career.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Oct-2013 4:03 pm

    surely if it is that serious the police should be informed or legal action taken.

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  • I have voiced my concerns over abuse of vulnerable adults to the CQC and nothing has ever been done. They do not do spot inspections. They contact the CQC to advise the Home Manager that they are coming as the Home Manager has close friends in the CQC. This is disgusting.

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