A claim of constructive dismissal brought by a former Care Quality Commission inspector who blew the whistle to the Francis inquiry will be heard next week.
Amanda Pollard, who was a compliance inspector in West Kent, claims she was forced out of her job at the CQC after she raised concerns about the regulator’s former management and the quality of its inspection regime to the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry.
Her claim for constructive dismissal will be heard at an employment tribunal in central London from Monday, and is scheduled to last 6 days.
Ms Pollard had raised concerns with the then CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower but felt there was little action. She was called as an inquiry witness by Robert Francis QC where she said the regulator would not necessarily “spot another Mid Staffordshire”, contradicting the evidence of former CQC chair Dame Jo Williams.
She told the inquiry her training as an inspector was “appalling” and that she was moved to help the CQC register providers through a process she described as “rubber stamping”. She criticised the culture of the CQC and its ability to inspect and identify poor care.
Mr Francis described her as a “persuasive witness” and in his final report he criticised the CQC, under its previous management, for its “hostile” reaction to Ms Pollard and said it had a “defensive institutional instinct to attack those who criticise it”.
Ms Pollard was unavailable for comment.
A CQC spokesman said: “The case is to be heard by the tribunal and we await its judgment before commenting further.”