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Race and racism policy criticised at the CQC

Recommendations have been published to improve the CQC’s management of race and racism, following a critique of its whistleblowing policy.

The review follows a employment tribunal of CQC specialist advisor Mr Shyam Kumar, who was disengaged from this role following “protected disclosures” to the CQC. The tribunal awarded Kumar, also a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, £23,000 in damages for injury to feelings, on account of what it described as “the inevitable impact” of CQC’s actions upon Mr Kumar’s reputation among his peers and the shock, confusion and concern it caused to him.

The CQC has accepted these findings and apologised to Mr Kumar. In a subsequent independent review of CQC policy, investigators found that there was a widespread lack of competence and confidence within CQC in understanding, identifying and writing about race and racism.

The review also found systemic patterns affecting ethnic minority people, requiring further examination, and a linked lack of understanding about the requirements placed on CQC under the public sector equality duty, the Equality Act 2010. There were also concerns raised about the governance and oversight of CQC policy.

Among the recommendations for action, the CQC has been told to improve the provision, delivery and governance of the public sector equality duty in its strategic and operational activities, and implement ‘lean’ methodology in processes, policies and practice to reduce errors in delivery.

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