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Settlement reached after CQC accused of libel

Settlement reached after CQC accused of libel


A settlement has been reached following legal action that was taken against the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by its former deputy chief executive.

Initially damages for £1.5million were sought but following mediation, an agreement was made for the CQC to pay Jill Finney £60,000 and to contribute towards legal costs.

Finney instigated legal action against the CQC last January for libel and damages after a report came to the conclusion that Finney was party to a “cover up.”

This was following CQC’s publication of the Grant Thornton report into CQC’s regulatory oversight of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in June 2013.

Although the CQC promised to publish the report, they had initially agreed to allow those identified in it to remain anonymous. At a later date this had to be reversed after speculation within the press.

The problems were also exacerbated by some media outlets incorrectly portraying the internal report as being about maternity deaths. Finney was not informed that her name had been released for 18 hours.

In a statement online, the CQC acknowledges that there were some potential flaws within the report. They state: “From the interview stage, Ms Finney and others were highly critical of Grant Thornton’s fairness and processes including their interviewing, note-taking and record-keeping techniques.  She complains that she was not even given advance notice of the allegations to be leveled at her in the interview.”

“The CQC accepts that Ms Finney was thereby disadvantaged in protecting her reputation and giving her public defense to an allegation which she has always denied; in addition, she suffered considerable distress. The CQC wishes to take this opportunity to apologise to her.”


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