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Whistleblowers say there was a “bullying culture” at England’s care services watchdog

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 30 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7812
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The Care Quality Commission, the inspectorate for hospitals and care homes in England, is led by a chairman and chief executive who are not up to the job, a board member told the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry on Monday.

Kay Sheldon, a non-executive member of the CQC’s board, said that the strategy used by the commission’s chief executive, Cynthia Bower, and chairwoman, Jo Williams, was “reactive, led by reputation management and personal survival.”

Mrs Sheldon, an expert in mental health, is one of two CQC whistleblowers who gave evidence this week. She and Amanda Pollard, a compliance inspector, came forward after first taking their concerns to the National Audit Office and after evidence to the inquiry had closed.

The CQC argued that most of the matters they raised were outside the inquiry’s terms of reference, but the chairman, Robert Francis QC, said …

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