NHS whistleblowing ‘problems persist’ – Patients First has yet to demand open exit interviews

Update 22nd September 2014: Chris Smyth reports in The Times: NHS whistleblowers are ‘still subject to bullying’

Nick Triggle for BBC News 22nd September reports: NHS whistleblowing ‘problems persist’

Whistleblowers still face real problems in speaking out in the health service – despite the push to create a more open culture, campaigners say. Patients first has yet to demand open exit interviews – which would make a really positive contribution to the cultural change that is needed urgently. Meanwhile doctors continue to leave the different Regions of the UK. (NHS suffers ‘brain drain’ of doctors – FT.com 24th August 2012). This is similar to Africa (Study highlights scale of African doctorsbrain drain‘ – FT.com 18th September 2013). cropped-gagging-bdqw3y0cqaewblo.jpg

Promoting whistleblowing was a key recommendation of the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.

A number of steps have since been taken in England, but Patients First warned that a “culture of fear” still existed.

It has produced a dossier of 70 cases, highlighting problems like bullying and mismanagement of complaints.

The document is being handed in as part of Patients First’s submission to an independent review of whistleblowing, which was set up by the Department of Health in England and is being led by Sir Robert Francis, who was in charge of the Stafford public inquiry.

Gagging orders

Nearly half the cases are continuing, but Patients First said all had suffered some loss either professionally, personally or financially.

In 79% of cases, the whistleblower had experienced bullying and in a fifth of cases the individual had run out of money or was unable to access legal advice, the dossier – which also included some Scottish cases – said.

It concluded there was a “real and continuing problem over the treatment of those who raise concerns”……


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Gagging, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

1 thought on “NHS whistleblowing ‘problems persist’ – Patients First has yet to demand open exit interviews

  1. Pingback: Does the Medical Profession need to commission Charlie Ebdo to change the health services? | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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