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Care Quality Commission

Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PA
Fax: 03000 200 240
information.access@cqc.org.uk
www.cqc.org.uk

15 December 2015
Our Ref: CQC IAT 1516 0575
Dear Ms Linton
I write in response to your correspondence dated 3 November 2015 in which
you made a request for information in accordance with the Data Protection
Act 1998 (DPA).
CQC has considered this request in accordance with your subject access
rights under section 7 of the DPA.
Section 7 of DPA provides individuals with a right to know what personal data
an organisation holds about them. This right of access is commonly known as
‘subject access’.
For information to be personal data, it must relate to a living individual and
allow that individual to be identified from it (either on its own or along with
other information likely to come into the organisations’ possession).
We have searched the records of our Customer Relationship Management
(CRM) system for any recorded information held that is personal to you.
We have attached one document held by CQC that constitutes your personal
data.
We can also advise you that Michelle Golden, Head of General Practice
Inspection in the London area, has responded to the questions asked in your
original response.
Please note, as Ms Golden has since changed position within CQC, we have
also consulted with current Hospital Inspectors who have responsibility for the
Trust.
We will now respond to each of your questions below.
“I would be grateful if in CQC’s search for my personal data in its
records, CQC would specifically disclose the following:
1) All communications (including letters and emails) and appended
documents, between CQC and Hackney and City Clinical
Commissioning Group that relate to me, specifically including all

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communications between CQC and Clare Highton, CCG Chair that
relate to me.
CQC did not enter into any correspondence regarding you with the CCG.
2) All communications (including letters and emails) and appended
documents, between CQC and reviewers contracted by Hackney
and City Clinical Commissioning group, Maureen Brown and
Carmel McCalmont, that relate to me.
CQC did not enter into any correspondence regarding you with the CCG..
3) All communications (including letters and emails) and appended
documents, between CQC and Homerton University Hospital NHS
Foundation Trust (“the Trust”) that relate to me, specifically
including all communications between Michele Golden, CQC
Compliance Manager London Region, and the Trust that relate to
me.
CQC did not enter into any correspondence regarding you with Homerton
Hospital Trust.
Disappointingly, I have never had substantive feedback after
whistleblowing to CQC.
Therefore, I would like CQC to provide a detailed account of what
actions it took to follow up the disclosures that I made to Michele
Golden in February 2014, about the Trust.
Who in the Trust did CQC contact about my disclosures?
Michelle Golden has advised us that she met with you and Rona McCandlish
in February 2014 and they considered what you had told them as part of the
wider inspection that was taking place at the Trust. Michelle has advised that
she did not contact anyone specifically about that meeting.
What Trust documents, if any, did Michele Golden and CQC
examine as a result of my disclosures?
Michelle Golden has advised us that she did not examine any Trust
documents as a result of the meeting.
What is the written record of any CQC action taken in response to
my concerns? Please disclose this record.
CQC has not retained the notes of the meeting.
I made serious disclosures to CQC in February 2014 about my
experience of whistleblowing reprisal at Homerton, and I also
informed CQC about my concerns about patient safety within
Homerton Hospital maternity, especially in respect of those

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midwives I had previously raised concerns about. I also
highlighted that I felt that the Trust was not identifying links
between the serious incidents which these midwives were
involved in after I raised concerns. Subsequently, the CQC made
these claims in its inspection report of 24 April 2014:
“There was evidence that showed investigations and learning
from the incidents had taken place.”
“Midwives, doctors and family planning nurses told us they
reported incidents without blame and were aware of the
processes in place should they need to whistle blow or raise any
concerns about the quality of care delivered.”
Can CQC disclose if as a result of my disclosures, CQC actually
examined the Trust’s serious incident investigation reports and
other Trust governance documents to see if common factors
between serious incidents were being proactively identified?
At the time of the January 2014 inspection we did not examine individual
serious investigation reports. This was not unique to the Homerton inspection
but was our procedure at the time.
In particular, as a result of my concerns that midwives I had
raised patient safety concerns about were subsequently involved
in serious clinical incidents which led to death and harm, did CQC
take steps to establish if the Trust addressed the serious issue of
my raising of concerns and the subsequent deaths and harm,
despite these concerns raised? What steps, if any, did CQC take?
We spoke with the Trust following all maternal deaths. We did not discuss
individual staff members and how they were managed by the Trust.
Please disclose if as a result of my disclosures about
whistleblower reprisal, did CQC question the Trust about the way I
was treated?
CQC did not contact the Trust following the disclosures you made to us.
If CQC asked the Trust about the Trust’s handling of my concerns,
what was the outcome?
CQC’s inspection report of 24 April 2014 refers only to evidence
from the Unhappy Midwives, and makes no mention of any other
whistleblower. Why did CQC not reflect my evidence to CQC,
about serious whistleblower reprisal, in its inspection report?
We did not mention every individual we spoke with in the content of our
report. Your evidence was unique and did not reflect feedback given to the
inspection team by any other member of staff.

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I became very ill as a result of the serious reprisal that I recounted
to Michele Golden. I am disturbed that CQC not only saw fit to
omit this evidence, but its report positively stated that staff in
maternity services felt able to raise concerns “without blame”. I
feel this was seriously misleading and would very much like CQC
to account for its omission.
4) In particular, please disclose all communications (including
letters and emails) and appended documents, between CQC and
the following Trust officers that relate to me:
Nancy Hallett former Chief Executive
Tracey Fletcher Chief Executive
Tim Melville-Ross Chair
Dr Martin Kuper Medical Director
Joan Douglas Head of Midwifery
Janet Bradley my former line manager
Sheila Adam Chief Nurse and Director of Governance
Katrina Erskine Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
John Coakley the Trust’s former Medical Director
CQC is not aware of any correspondence with any of the above individuals
that relates to you.
4) Please disclose all communications (including letters and emails)
and appended documents, between CQC and the Nursing and
Midwifery Council that relate to me and to the disclosures that I
made about the unsafe practice of specific midwives.
CQC is not aware of any communications between us and the NMC regarding
you.
9) Please disclose all communications (including letters and
emails) and appended documents, between CQC and third parties
that relate to me.
CQC is not aware of any communications between CQC and third parties
regarding you.
10) Please disclose all communications (including letters and
emails) and appended documents, between CQC and the Unhappy
Midwives that relate to me.
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Please refer to the document attached.
We can also inform you that you were mentioned in an email chain between
Michelle Golden and Unhappy Midwives.
The information contained within this email chain that constitutes your
personal data is:
Email from Michelle Golden to Unhappy Midwives dated 5 February 2014:
“We have also offered to meet with you. Sarah Greaves has passed me your
email suggesting you send an intermediary to meet with us. I must decline this
and have emailed Ms Linton to do so.”
Email from Michelle Golden to Unhappy Midwives dated 12 March 2014:
“Thank you also for raising the issue of the letter Margaret Hodge shared with
you and which you subsequently shared with Ms Linton. After seeking further
advice from Information Rights and Public Affairs colleagues they have
advised that sharing the letter with the Care Quality Commission would be
unlikely to constitute a breach of confidentiality by you. I would like to
apologise for any confusion this may have caused. I have also apologised to
Ms Linton who has kindly forwarded me a copy of the letter. Please accept my
assurances that my claim regarding the confidentiality was one made in good
faith, however having now sought advice internally I accept it was incorrect.
We are providing you with this information in a summary form rather than
disclosing the entire document to you, because the other information
contained within the email chain does not constitute your personal data.
10) Please disclose CQC reports, notes, memos and meeting
minutes that relate to me, specifically including those that relate
to the concerns that I raised with the Trust and with the CQC. With
respect to reports, please disclose draft, preliminary, interim, and
final versions, together with appended documents.
CQC has not retained the notes of this meeting.
We hope you find our response information useful.
If you require independent advice about information rights and access to your
personal information, please visit the website for the Information
Commissioner’s Office:
https://ico.org.uk/
Guidance on what constitutes your personal data can be accessed at:

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https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1554/determining-whatis-personal-data.pdf
Feedback
CQC will always endeavour to provide the highest quality responses to
requests for information and seek to provide responses that are as helpful as
possible. We would therefore appreciate if you can complete our online
feedback form by visiting the following link:
http://webdataforms.cqc.org.uk/Checkbox/InformationAccessFeedback.aspx
The information you provide will be held securely and only used for the
purposes of improving the Information Rights service that CQC provide.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your request, then you may
request an internal review.
Please clearly indicate that you wish for a review to be conducted and state
the reason(s) for requesting the review. To request a review please contact:
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PA
E-mail: information.access@cqc.org.uk
Please be aware that the review process will focus upon our handling of your
request and whether CQC have complied with the requirements of Data
Protection Act 1998. The internal review process should not be used to raise
further concerns about the provision of care or the internal processes of other
CQC functions.
If you are unhappy with other aspects of CQC’s actions, or of the actions of
registered providers, please see our website for information on how to raise a
concern or complaint:
www.cqc.org.uk/contact-us
If you consider that CQC has failed to comply with the Data Protection Act
1998, you also have a right (under section 42 of the Data Protection Act 1998)
to seek an assessment from the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding
our handling of your request for information.
The contact details are:
Information Commissioner's Office

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Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 745
Website: https://ico.org.uk/
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the team on 03000
616161, or at information.access@cqc.org.uk
Yours sincerely

Amy Stanley
Information Access Officer
Legal Services and Information Rights
Care Quality Commission

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