The Care Quality’ Commission’s (CQC)Executive Team has appointed Zoë Leventhal KC of Matrix Chambers to lead an independent review into its handling of protected disclosures shared by Mr Shyam Kumar alongside a sample of other information of concern shared with the CQC by health and care staff.
The aim of the review will be to determine whether they took appropriate action in response to this information. It will include consideration of whether the ethnicity of the people raising concerns impacted on decision making or outcomes.
The full terms of reference for the review will be published shortly. The review is expected to conclude by the end of this year, with Zoë reporting her findings and recommendations publicly to CQC’s Board.
Alongside this barrister-led review we will conduct a wider review, led by our new Director of Integrated Care, Inequalities and Improvement, Scott Durairaj, which will seek input from people using and working in health and social care and from our colleagues.
This will explore whether there are issues of culture, process or both within the organisation which need to be addressed so we are better able to listen and to act on what the hear when information of concern is shared with them. The review will have a focus on inclusivity, including understanding whether race or any other protected characteristic has any impact on how we treat information of concern. Terms of reference will be developed in consultation with internal and external partners and will be published once agreed.
Ian Trenholm said:
“It’s crucial that people feel confident that when they share concerns with us, we act appropriately on these concerns to prevent poor care and to support providers to improve. For people to have that trust, we as the regulator need to be open to exploring if we got things wrong and learning how we can do better – and it’s important that we’re as transparent as possible about this process.
“Last year we received over 18,000 pieces of information from people who work in health and care, with information of concern triggering around half our inspection activity which is prompted by new information.
“The independent review will look at how we dealt with a sample of whistleblowing concerns, including Mr Kumar’s. We’ll also be conducting a wider review which looks at what improvements we can make as an organisation to how we listen inclusively and respond to people, including our colleagues, and how we act on their concerns.”