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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)

  • And the prize for stating the startlingly obvious goes to.............

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  • Is there a contact number or email address that people can contact or do we rely on the CQC knowing who we are and where we are?

    a.n. other whistle blower

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  • In my trust we are working on a list of people who are on long term sick or gardening leave and liaising with Occy health to get a list of people, as well as staff side. The people on the list are contacted and asked for their permission to share their names with the CQC and then their details will be passed on. The trust will not know who on that list is interviewed or what they say, to keep it confidential. They have the option of remaining anonymous too, although if the allegation is too serious, that might change. One way to find out might be just to ring the CQC and talk to someone local.

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  • I thinkthe CQC should be inspected as I think that most of them are incompetent and do not know how to actually inspect. They cover up complaints just to make us think that they are competent. They should be inspected as to where they actually get there inspectors from. Most of them apply for the jobs because they cant get any other jobs. they are the most incompetent people I know but nothing seems to be happening to actually inspect there qualifications.

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  • Some people here can't seem to distinguish the difference between 'there' and 'their' and use them in the correct context. Perhaps they should apply for jobs at the CQC.

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  • You can access Mr Behan's letter of 11th October 2013 at:

    And my response to Mr Behan of the 23rd October 2013 at:

    Thank you for your comments.

    Will Powell

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