A leaked email from senior managers at Virgin Care shows they asked their staff not to report safety concerns. Upper management sent a gag via email to Virgin Health managers asking them to
“help manage the situation”
and not report medical and legal concerns to the government watchdog, the Care Quality Commission(CQC).
The text of the email sent by Virgin Care’s managing director for Bath and North East Somerset, Julie Thallon:
“I understand that ‘a number’ of people may have contacted the CQC about their concerns.
I entirely understand but need your help with managing the situation please to ensure we provide a consistent and comprehensive report to them.
As such, at the moment I would ask that we hold off from submitting statutory notifications.
I am calling our local Compliance/Relationship Manager from CQC and will be updating her on our current situation and where we’re at with resolving it.
We will ask for her advice about the need to submit the formal notification and will act accordingly – we will do that as an organisation rather than from separate services as many of the issues are affecting colleagues across a number of services so we would be duplicating it if we send them in separately.
In the meantime if you are approached by anyone with a view to contacting the CQC directly please can you advise them of the actions we are taking as this may provide some reassurance for them.”
“Tory privatisation of the NHS is simply not in the interests of patient care.” – Shadow Secretary of state for health Jonathan Ashworth
Meanwhile, the Virgin Care Staff say:
“We don’t know what information they’re sharing because they don’t communicate with us. emails to share concerns with senior management and find out what was being done have been met with silence.
They’re wearing people out to the extent that they’re not reporting their concerns any more because they don’t get a response.
At the same time we’re having to provide a service. It’s exhausting and demoralising.
I can assure you it’s not business as usual. Service users aren’t suffering but that’s only because of the professionals working within the organisation. That’s the really frustrating bit. The people at the front line are doing a good job, not Virgin.”
“Look at this latest example from Bath where the private firm has reportedly instructed staff not to raise concerns over IT and patient appointments being cancelled with the health watchdog despite it being their professional duty to do so.
I say it again I’ll bring an end to Tory privatisation of the NHS.” – Shadow Secretary of State for Health Jonathan Ashworth