Open Letter to Andrea Sutcliffe
21st July 2017
Dear Ms Sutcliffe,
In response to both your letters of July 14th 2017, I address the points you raise as follows,
Response to Letter One
The 47 Whistle-blowers.
We publish anonymised evidence from both Whistle-blowers and from individuals whose relatives have been failed by the care system. Breaking the Silence is an ongoing series of our work on these issues. Breaking the Silence parts 4 and 5 will be published at a future date. I would point out that unlike yourself we do not have a correspondence secretary or any formal administration support.
The themes we have identified from this as yet unpublished evidence includes whistle-blowers who have experienced a breach of confidentiality by CQC discussing their information with employers and a separate group of 47 Whistle-blowers who have reported concerns to the CQC in confidence and discovered the CQC had identified them to their employers. As I was asked by both Victoria Derbyshire and Channel 4 News for my assessment of the state of care, I gave my assessment based on this evidence. The scale of the response from the public following this media coverage only further confirmed that the issues we had identified are widespread and ingrained.
You imply we have common ground; I disagree due to the fact that I have had to continually expose your failures too many times to list here.
You ask me to disclose the identities of these whistle-blowers in a timely manner. The fact that you could make such a request is staggering; firstly all those who contact our help-line are guaranteed absolute confidentiality. Secondly I would stress that all those who contact our help-line are asked for evidence that they contacted the CQC or safeguarding prior to contacting us and I can assure you that evidence has been provided.
The fact you have asked me to disclose whistle-blowers names confirms beyond any doubt that whistle-blowers are held in contempt by the CQC.
You state that you have sought advice from colleagues on this issue, please clarify what action you have already taken, have you issued guidance to all CQC inspectors, can you provide me with a copy of such and date of issue?
You will I am sure understand my concerns given my correspondence in relation to the CQC April board meeting video when the question was asked, What is a whistle-blower? And no credible or remotely accurate description could be given by the CQC board.
If you are unable to identify a whistle-blower then how can you possibly protect one?
Finally in response to letter one. I stress again that all issues of poor care and abuse that individuals bring to our attention have previously been brought to your attention by those individuals. You have taken the stance that “if only you were aware you would have acted” However you were aware and did not act.
The thousands of people your organisation has failed have been and will continue to be given a voice by Compassion in Care.
Response to Letter Two
The Old Deanery Whistle-blowers.
You have provided a two paragraph quote of what you said at the Dementia congress three years ago. I ask where this quote came from? Also that if a recording of the event in question was made that in the interests of transparency a full unedited copy of that recording is forwarded to me.
You have only now chosen to raise this issue; can I therefore ask if you object to being called a liar at the conference sponsored by BUPA or object to being called a liar on twitter.
You were not aware that Karis Le Winton was at this event with me until she stood up and challenged you, saying you had lied; you made no response to her then and at no time since until now, three years later.
The two paragraphs you have provided state the undercover journalist could or should have contacted you and that you would have acted. Given the fact you failed to act when contacted by Whistle-blowers, why should Panorama believe you would act any differently? You may well act when contacted by the media but by that time it is clear you have already failed to do your job, and it is because of your failure that we have to use the media.
I am proud to know the whistle-blower Karis Le Winton and to stand with her against any attack from you, this whistle-blower felt betrayed, insulted and completely failed by both your organisation and your attitude and remarks at the Brighton event.
You even now take the stance that the media expose people to abuse for longer. Yet at the time BBC Panorama were filming in the home you inspected this home and rated it compliant. A fact you have omitted from the state of care reports.
I will let the Whistle-blower Karis Le Winton have the final word,
“The abuse at the Old Deanery would be happening today but for the intervention of Compassion in Care and Panorama, We went to safeguarding and kept ringing the CQC nothing changed, these authorities are the ones that let the abuse continue, that let people suffer and if they say otherwise they are liars”