Blowing the whistle: an investigation into the Care Quality Commission’s regulation of the Fit and Proper Persons Requirement

The complaint

Ms K (the whistle-blower) complained to us that the CQC took an incomplete and unclear approach to regulating FPPR in regards to employing a Chief Executive at Trust P.

Ms K had been subject to reprisals from the Chief Executive in a previous trust (Trust J) after raising a genuine concern about the Chief Executive’s misconduct. Ms K said the CQC’s approach to reviewing FPPR for the Chief Executive at Trust P was not fair, transparent or proportionate.

Ms K claimed the CQC failed to fully consider her Employment Tribunal judgement from 2014, which found she was unfairly penalised for whistle-blowing.

She felt the CQC’s application of the FPPR diminished the seriousness of the Chief Executive’s conduct and gave the message that those who victimise whistle-blowers will escape accountability.

She complained that if the CQC had handled the situation better, the Chief Executive would not have been able to get another job in a different NHS trust.