£60,000 awarded to wrongly accused NHS exec
The NHS executive accused of covering up a damning report into patient safety at a hospital in Cumbria has been awarded £60,000 for the damage caused to her reputation and the distress she was subjected to.
Jill Finney was accused of having given the order to delete evidence which showed that the Care Quality Commission failed to address concerns at Furness General Hospital, where it is estimated 14 babies and 2 mothers died.
Ms Finney has consistently denied the claim which emerged in an external review carried out by consultant agency Grant Thornton in 2013.
A statement from the CQC said: “The CQC deeply regrets its decision, taken on legal advice, to withhold the names of individuals in the report, as promised to Ms Finney and others.
“Further, due to confusion caused by an IT failure, the CQC failed to inform Ms Finney that her name had been released until 18 hours later, by which time she had been summarily dismissed from her then employment.
“The CQC accepts that Ms Finney was thereby disadvantaged in protecting her reputation and giving her public defence to an allegation which she has always denied; in addition, she suffered considerable distress.”
However, a spokeswoman for Grant Thornton said it stood by the ‘validity and accuracy’ of its report.