Skip to main content

Care Quality Commission whistleblower receives international whistleblowing award

Mid Staffs whistleblower Amanda Pollard will be recognised today (June 20) at an international whistleblowing conference, receiving an award for her part in exposing negligent inspection methods within the Care Quality Commission.

The former Care Quality Commission inspector will pick up the ‘Middlesex University Whistleblowing Award’, at the International Whistleblowing Research Network Conference today (20 June) at Middlesex University’s Hendon campus in north London. It is awarded in recognition of an outstanding achievement in making a disclosure of information in the public interest.

Pollard was one of the key figures in exposing the severe wrongdoings within the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the national healthcare inspector – and the NHS, particularly in relation to the poor level of patient care at Mid Staffordshire Hospital. She later gave evidence to the Francis Inquiry into the serious problems at Mid Staffordshire between January 2005 and March 2009.

She tried to alert CQC management to her concerns and warned that the organisation would not be able to spot another scandal in patient care such as in Mid Staffordshire.

Pollard specialised in infection control and it had been the spread of infection that claimed many of the needless deaths in Mid Staffordshire. Pollard told the Francis Inquiry that changes to the way inspections were carried out meant that she and her colleagues found themselves inspecting sectors in which they had no expertise or knowledge. Inspectors with no healthcare backgrounds were told to inspect hospitals, and no adequate training was given.

Tomorrow Amanda Pollard will tell delegates at the conference: “It was important for me personally to let the Mid Staffs Public Inquiry know about how NHS regulation had changed for the worse. When I was working for the Healthcare Commission the infection control inspections were thorough and cleanliness of hospitals improved as a result. The methodology was sound and the assessment of inspection decisions was robust. When the CQC introduced their new methodology for inspections, inspectors were quite worried. Our concerns were founded, but no-one wanted to listen.

“It will be two years in November that I appeared at the Inquiry, and this time has been more difficult than I expected. It makes this recognition by the International Whistleblowing Research Network Conference particularly gratifying. I am very surprised and overwhelmed by this award, and hope that I can raise the profile about the difficulties of whistleblowing.”

Convener of the International Whistleblowing Research Network and Middlesex University Professor of Employment Law, David Lewis said: “Whistleblowers serve private and public interests when they raise concerns about wrongdoing. However, rather that encouraging them, many employers have victimised the purveyors of bad news. The Middlesex University award is an attempt to change attitudes so that whistleblowers are recognised as heroes rather than villains. Amanda was very brave in speaking out in difficult circumstances and that is why we are gathering to applaud rather than shoot the messenger.”


The International Whistleblowing Research Network Conference brings together top researchers in the area of whistleblowing from America, Australia and The Netherlands amongst others. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Nicotine exposure in pregnancy linked to cot death

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy, whether from smoking cigarettes, or nicotine patches and e-cigarettes, increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome – sometimes known as “cot death” – according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under 12 months of age occuring typically while sleeping. Failure of auto resuscitation, the ability to recover normal heart rate and breathing following gasping caused by lack of oxygen in the brain, has been recorded in human SIDS cases.



Smoking increases risk for SIDS Over the last decade, use of cigarettes has declined significantly, however, over 10% of pregnant women still smoke during pregnancy. Over recent years nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches or e-cigarettes, have been prescribed to women who wish to quit smoking during their pregnancy. However, nicotine replacement therapies may not protect infants from SIDS. 
With inc…

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…