It was with grandiose language and some fanfare that Jill Finney announced the CQC’s latest ‘initiative’ to the Health Select Committee. In response to the “fundamental problem” that Stephen Dorrell of doctors being gagged, Jill Finney was pleased to announce a “major communication”. What could this be? All was revealed when Jill announced it was a “leaflet” which she said would “make clear” all healthcare practitioners were at liberty to speak to the Care Quality Commission despite any gagging agreement.
MedicalHarm followed up on this “major” initiative, and is pleased to now publish the much trumpeted leaflet. Buried away on the final page in the footnotes is the following garbled sentence, “PIDA also makes it clear that any clause in a contract that purports to gag an individual from raising a concern that would have been protected under PIDA is void.“ It also says, “Protection is also available to people who make disclosures to prescribed regulators (such as the Care Quality Commission).“ So that’s alright then. I’m sure any concerned doctor will come running to turn up this “major leaflet” and will be very reassured by the language in it. Get the Major Leaflet.
A former CQC employee told MedicalHarm that this was entirely representative of the CQC. It is a “giant rhetoric machine” designed to give reassurance and protect trusts, in the image of its Chief Executive, Cynthia Bower, who was involved in denying the problems at Mid Staffs. The employee told MedicalHarm that there is very little understanding of health. Jill Finney, who promised the “major” leaflet, has an entire career background in PR and marketing and is Deputy Chief Executive of the CQC.
In case there was any doubt as to the effectiveness of the CQC, MedicalHarm is also publishing the audio of the CQC’s “director of intelligence” laughing at the Health Select Committee. If listened to on loop, it might be hard to have any confidence in the intelligence of the CQC. The Laugh
Meanwhile, the “major” leaflet has been published on the CQC website. Print publication and distribution to the masses is awaited.