The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England meaning they are the responsible for making sure NHS trusts (such as EKHUFT in east Kent) behave lawfully and don’t cut corners to save money.
For example, if a member of medical staff suspects hospital managers are breaking the law by forcing nurses to work longer shifts or carry out procedures without the necessary training, they should report it to the CQC - known as whistleblowing.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that the EKHUFT chief executive, Matthew Kershaw, is a Chairman of Inspections for… the CQC.
Why would any member of staff whistleblow, if the person they report to could be their own boss?
The situation is completely unsatisfactory and reveals that the safeguards put in place to protect patients are severely compromised. How can east Kent residents have faith that investigations into the hospital trust will be carried out impartially or fairly when investigations are carried out by the head of the trust himself?
CHEK has highlighted numerous safety concerns about the possibly illegal and definitely dangerous move of doctors and services away from the Kent and Canterbury. The organisation who is responsible for responding to these issues is the CQC, and yet we remain in limbo with no news on when the services are to be returned.
Matthew Kershaw’s position as an inspection chairman is a clear conflict of interest and it is in the best interest of EKHUFT, the CQC, and the people of east Kent to ensure the process of designing healthcare in east Kent is transparent and fair.