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From:

Minh Alexander <minhalexander@aol.com>


Date: 2 October 2015 at 17:00:27 BST
To: David.Bennett@monitor-nhsft.gov.uk
Cc: jeremy.heywood@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk,
AnthonyHooper@matrixlaw.co.uk, rfrancis@serjeantsinn.com,
edward.jones@dh.gsi.gov.uk, mb-sofs@dh.gsi.gov.uk,
heidi.alexander.mp@parliament.uk, Health Committee
<healthcom@parliament.uk>, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk,
philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk, thornberrye@parliament.uk,
maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk, liz.mcinnes.mp@parliament.uk,
andrew.percy.mp@parliament.uk, james.davies.mp@parliament.uk,
andrea.jenkyns.mp@parliament.uk, paula.sherriff.mp@parliament.uk,
pubaccom@parliament.uk, meghilliermp@parliament.uk,
richardbaconmp@parliament.uk, harriett.baldwin.mp@parliament.uk,
deidre.brock.mp@parliament.uk, kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk,
stewart.jackson.mp@parliament.uk, clive.lewis.mp@parliament.uk,
nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk, david.mowat.mp@parliament.uk,
teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk,
pughj@parliament.uk, nick.smith.mp@parliament.uk,
karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk, annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk,
Bernard Jenkin <bernard.jenkin.mp@parliament.uk>, public@publicstandards.gov.uk, contactholmember@parliament.uk
Subject: Monitoring of whistleblowing governance by Monitor


To Mr David Bennett Chief Executive Monitor, 2 October 2015

Dear Mr Bennett,

Re: 1) Monitoring of whistleblowing governance by Monitor

2) Regulatory investigations triggered by Employment
Tribunal findings

Thank you for Monitors helpful response today to my enquiries of 5 and 7
September about these two issues. My enquiry of 5 September is copied
below, and my enquiry of 7 September and Monitors response are attached.


Monitoring of whistleblowing governance by Monitor

To recap, I enquired whether Monitor has implemented good practice as
advised by parliament and whether it has monitored whistleblowing trends.

Thank you for Monitors clarification that:

a) Monitor does not track whether whistleblowers who make disclosures to
it, as prescribed body under PIDA, suffer detriment

b) Monitors response to 17 of 39 whistleblowers disclosures in 2013/2014,
and 14 of 28 whistleblowers disclosures in 2014/2015, that raised
governance issues was to informally investigate and to raise the matters
with the trusts in question

c) Monitor did not formally investigate any of the whistleblowers concerns
raised with it in either of years 2013/2014 or 2014/2015

d) Monitor has not conducted an analysis of the whistleblowing disclosures
that it has received

e) Monitor holds data about the nature of all the whistleblowing disclosures
made to it in years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, and that some of the
disclosures include: governance issues, trust performance issues,
financial issues, employment matters and quality issues

f) Monitor has recently reviewed its whistleblowing governance, and hopes
in future to improve the service it provides to people who make disclosures
to it as a prescribed body, the level of its record keeping and reporting and its
use of whistleblower intelligence

It is good to hear that Monitor intends to make improvements. I would be
grateful to know what whistleblowing trends Monitor intends to track in
future, and whether Monitor has or will consult with whistleblowers when
making improvements.

In particular, it would be reassuring to know if Monitor will help ensure


lawful practice by the organisations that it regulates, and as part of that track
whether whistleblowers suffer detriment after making disclosures to
Monitor.

I should also say that most whistleblowers are unlikely to have confidence in
Monitors apparent sole reliance on informal investigations that consist of
asking trusts about concerns that are raised. I would suggest a change in this
approach.

Although Monitor has not carried out an analysis of the nature of the 67
disclosures that it received in the two years in question, it does hold data on
the nature of all of these disclosures. Please could Monitor provide a list of
the 67 disclosures and brief details of each of these disclosures.

Regulatory investigations triggered by Employment Tribunal (ET) findings

To recap, I essentially asked Monitor why it launched an investigation into a
Derbyshire trust after an ET finding of sexual harassment by a senior officer,
but it had not launched comparable investigations into other trusts that have
been found by ETs to have victimised whistleblowers. I gave the example of
Dr Antointte Geoghegan, in whose case a finding of whistleblower detriment
was upheld after repeated appeals by her trust.

I am afraid that Monitors response does not address my question. Indeed,
Monitors response seems to be a misunderstanding of my question about
the lower priority that Monitor seems to have given whistleblower reprisal,
relative to sexual harassment:


This year (15/16) we opened an investigation into Derbyshire
Healthcare Foundation Trust following an employment tribunal
decision. In that case the tribunal found that the claimant was
unfairly dismissed and that the claims of direct sex
discrimination, harassment and victimisation should succeed.
However it did not identify her as a whistleblower who suffered
detriment.


I would be grateful if Monitor could advise why it appears not to have
investigated the trust responsible for Dr Antoinette Geoghegans
victimisation, or other trusts that have also been found by ETs to have
victimised whistleblowers.

This is with reference to the advice from the Freedom to Speak Up
Review that whistleblower reprisal should be regarded as serious
misconduct, which should raise questions about whether any implicated
directors are Fit and Proper Persons.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

cc Sir Jeremy Heywood Cabinet Secretary
Rt Hon Sir Anthony Hooper
Sir Robert Francis
Secretary of State for Health
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
House of Commons Health Committee
House of Commons Public Accounts Committee
Committee on Standards in Public Life
Lord Bew