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CQC triggers two reviews into whistleblowing concerns

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has commissioned an independent review into handling of a high-profile whistleblower case, and a wider internal review of how it responds when it is given “information of concern”. 

The independent review will be led by Zoë Leventhal KC of Matrix Chambers and will consider how the regulator handled “protected disclosures” from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust surgeon Shyam Kumar, alongside “a sample of other information of concern shared with us”.

Mr Kumar won a tribunal against the CQC earlier this month, which found he was unfairly dismissed as a special advisor on hospital inspections after raising serious patient safety concerns.

Between 2015 and his dismissal in 2019 Mr Kumar wrote to senior colleagues at the CQC with a number of concerns within his trust around bullying, patient harm and the quality of CQC hospital inspections. The tribunal drew particular attention to the two whistleblowing disclosures made by Mr Kumar about the CQC itself, which it found “clearly had a material influence on the decision to dismiss”.

The CQC said in an announcement today that the independent review would aim to determine whether it took “appropriate action” in response to the information disclosed in Mr Kumar’s case and others. It will include consideration of whether the ethnicity of the people raising concerns impacted on decision making or outcome and is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 28 September 2022


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