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

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha