Listening, Learning, Responding to Concerns Review: an update

Published: 18 November 2022 Page last updated: 14 February 2023

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) Listening, Learning, Responding to Concerns Review is an independent review to identify improvements to how we learn from, respond to, and act on concerns. This review is in two phases. Our Director of Integrated Care, Inequalities and Improvement, Scott Durairaj is leading the oversight and delivery of both phases.

In September, we announced the appointment of Zoё Leventhal KC of Matrix Chambers to lead the first phase of the independent review into our handling of protected disclosures shared by Mr Shyam Kumar, including whether ethnicity played any part in the management of those disclosures. In October, we published the terms of reference for this review.

We are now sharing further detail of phase 2 of the review. Across 5 workstreams, we will:

  • Review how well we listen to whistleblowing concerns. This will include conversations with people who have whistle blown to us to understand their experience.
  • Further to the above workstream, we want to understand the perceptions of raising concerns with us among health and care staff and registered providers. Understand the expectations and experiences of people who use services and their representative groups when they raise concerns about care with us. This includes the timeliness and quality of our responses. We will explore how well our approach to hearing concerns raised by people who use services work. We will identify where we need to make improvements.
  • Look at our current and proposed Freedom to Speak Up policy. We want to be sure it is fit for purpose, reflects national guidance, and aligns with best-in-class policies in the NHS.
  • Review and learn from the Mr Kumar’s Tribunal case. This will include a case review to help identify improvements in our decision making, escalation processes, and how we work with others.
  • Look to understand how we engage with and listen to our colleagues through transformation and organisational design. We will look at our policies and procedures relating to secondments and our flexible workforce, and how we can be a leader in reasonable adjustments.

Running through the review will be a focus on inclusivity. This includes understanding whether race or any other protected characteristic has had any impact on how we treat information of concern.

We have set up an independent governance panel to oversee this work and help to ensure the independence and credibility of the review.

Dr Ali Hasan is an Associate Non-Executive Director at CQC and will chair the independent governance panel. Ali has over 15 years of experience across clinical, commercial, operational and general management and advisory and non-executive roles.

Kate Terroni is CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care and Integrated Care, and Interim Chief Operating Officer. A social worker, Kate was previously a Director of Adult Social Care. Kate has a passion for ensuring that people are at the centre of everything we do and supporting a workforce who are compassionate and valued for the skilled support they deliver.

Scott Durairaj is CQC’s Interim Director of the CQC Listening, Learning, Responding to Concerns Review. A paramedic by background, Scott has extensive experience in leadership roles across integrated care systems. Scott designed and directed the South East COVID-19 disparity programme for our diverse populations and workforce. He has a postgraduate certificate in Equality, Sociology and Politics, an MBA, and a CMID in executive business marketing and organisational culture.

Joy Warmington is the Chief Executive Officer of brap, one of the most progressive equalities charities in the UK. Her portfolio includes research, learning and organisational development and work across communities. She also spearheads brap’s work on anti-racism and anti-discriminatory practice. Joy has extensive experience working with the NHS, including working at a national level with campaigners on whistleblowing. Joy was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to healthcare and community and is also a Professor at Middlesex University.

Arpita Dutt is a nationally reputed employment disputes lawyer and specialist in equality and whistleblowing law, policy, practice and thought leadership across the public and private sectors. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Parrhesia, a charitable organisation focused on the practice, protection and promotion of the human rights of whistleblowers, and founder and Trustee of the Anti-Racist Alliance Trust, a charity focused on education, training and community support. Arpita is also an international accredited mediator driven to promote conflict resolution, equality, inclusion and workplace psychological safety.

Anne Robson is a CIPD-certified Human Resources director and consultant who was appointed to the independent governance panel in January 2023. She has extensive Board-level experience across the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. Anne is expert in developing and delivering strategic transformation in complex organisations. Her recent experience includes a review of the HR function within an emerging integrated care board, leading an organisations' response to their employee engagement survey and the management and resolution of a number of complex employee relations cases involving claims of discrimination.

As the regulator, we need to explore where we’ve got things wrong so we can learn and deliver improvements in good time. This review is about listening, learning and improving. We are committed to being as transparent as possible as we go through this process.