A Care Quality Commission inspector has been disciplined for mismanagement of concerns raised by a whistleblower about Winterbourne View Hospital, the regulator’s internal review of the handling of the case has revealed.
Abuse of patients at the hospital was exposed by the BBC’s Panorama programme last May after they were contacted by Terry Bryan, a nurse who had worked at the facility for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Mr Bryan had first raised formal concerns about the mistreatment of patients with the hospital’s manager on 15 October 2010. These concerns were passed on to the CQC via the South Gloucestershire Adult Safeguarding Board at the end of November but no one informed Mr Bryan.
The internal review said all the agencies involved assumed others had contacted Mr Bryan.
On 6 December, frustrated at the lack of action, Mr Bryan emailed the CQC with his concerns and requested someone got back to him as soon as possible.
This was passed to the compliance inspector responsible for Winterbourne View two days later.
However, when Mr Bryan had still had no response by 31 December he contacted the CQC’s customer contact centre. When this also failed to elicit a response he contacted the BBC.
The review said the inspector had been disciplined “in light of the issues that were raised about how the whistleblowing concerns were managed”. A spokesman for the CQC declined to give details of the disciplinary proceedings but said no one was dismissed as a result.
The review said issues identified during the disciplinary procedure had led to the creation of a whistleblowing team within the National Customer Service Centre which is responsible for following up concerns with compliance inspectors to make sure they have been acted on.