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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Committee of Public Accounts - Written evidence from the Chief Executive, Action against Medical Accidents (Part 2)


Over a series of Articles we intend to look at the Committee of Public Accounts - Written evidence from the Chief Executive, Action against Medical Accidents.

This is a Published Article taken directly from the Publications Page of www.parliament.uk

You can jump straight to the full publication here

We, at Edith Ellen HQ, have been very interested in the AvMA a national charity working towards Patient Safety and Justice for Patients when "things go wrong".


The main points of this Article are

  • whether the CQC should be more proactive in following up indicators of potential patient safety lapses, drawing on our research on implementation of Patient Safety Alerts issued by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA);
  • whether the CQC does enough to regulate openness and transparency, both with respect to promoting the protection and support of whistleblowers, and openness with patients/their relatives when things go wrong;
  • whether the CQC engages appropriately with the public; and
  • whether the CQC’s remit is too wide.

With these main points in mind we are jumping to Point 5 of the published article: 

Does the CQC do enough to promote the protecting and support of whistleblowers?

"AvMA is working with a number of whistleblowers at present, all of whom confirm that their experience of seeking help or support from the CQC was unhelpful."

5.1 As has been widely reported, the CQC failed dismally to protect residents at Winterborne View, partly because it failed to listen and react appropriately to warnings from whistleblowers.

5.2 AvMA is working with a number of whistleblowers at present, all of whom confirm that their experience of seeking help or support from the CQC was unhelpful.

5.3 The CQC says it has revamped its internal procedures for dealing with concerns by whistleblowers, and AVMA is due to meet the CQC on 7 December to discuss these arrangements and other ideas.

5.4 As well as having concerns about how the CQC deals with concerns raised by whistleblowers which have consequences for the safety of patients, AvMA is concerned that not enough is being done by the CQC to ensure that registered organisations protect, support and act on the concerns of whistleblowers appropriately.

5.5 AvMA recommend that support and protection of whistleblowers is made a more explicit requirement in the CQC registration regulations and that the CQC is more proactive in assessing NHS bodies’ compliance with this requirement. This should include assessing NHS bodies’ systems and procedures and reacting to reports of failure to protect and support whistleblowers by whistleblowers themselves.

5.6 Evidence presented to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry suggests that the CQC itself may not listen to, support and protect its own staff appropriately. There was even a report of use of gagging clauses – something we think the CQC should have a role in stamping out the use of amongst registered organisations. If the CQC is to enjoy the confidence of NHS staff and patients, it needs to rebuild trust by demonstrating that it preaches the right things, and practices what it preaches.

 

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