Campaign to Protect Whistleblowers
- 05 Mar
Recent cases have highlighted a loophole in the liability of employers in protecting whistleblowers but the government have announced they will amend this.
Nursing Times is petitioning the Department of Health to improve protection for nurses that blow the whistle over patient safety concerns, as part of our new Speak Out Safely campaign.
The "Protection for Whistleblowers" e-petition was launched on the government's website yesterday, and is supported by many staff who have already suffered
It follows the report released by Robert Francis, who made numerous recommendations on the topic, following the errors found at Stafford Hospital.
The recommendations made in the report require:
- Healthcare providers who believe/suspect treatment provided caused death/serious injury to a patient to inform that patient or other authorised person as soon as practicable
- Medical practitioners, nurses and other health professionals who believe/suspect treatment provided by a healthcare provider employing them caused death/serious injury to report this to their employer.
- It should be a criminal offence for a medical practitioner, nurse or health professional or director of a healthcare organisation to:
- Obstruct another in performing these duties
- Provide information intending to mislead a patient/relative about such an incident.
- We would add that there be:
- Exemption from disciplinary action for those reporting adverse events (except where there is a criminal offence or it would be unsafe for a professional to continue to practise).
The survey of more than 800 nurses revealed that many nurses complain of a bullying culture in the NHS, with staff scared they will be labelled as troublemakers if they highlight problems or concerns about patient care.
A nurse whose whistleblowing case exposed a major loophole in the law designed to protect staff who raise concerns has backed Nursing Times Speak Out Safely campaign.
Jennie Fecitt was one of three nurses who raised concerns about a colleague who had exaggerated his qualifications in discussions with staff at the NHS Manchester walk-in centre where they worked.
It sparked a four year dispute with their employer that ended in the three nurses being forced to pay £21,000 of NHS Manchester's legal costs, despite writing to then health secretary Andrew Lansley asking him to intervene.
Ms Fecitt said:
It's a classic example of the bullying culture. It sends completely the wrong message.
On the one hand the Department of Health is saying you must allow staff to raise concerns about patient safety and they will not tolerate harassment of whistleblowers, yet [NHS Manchester] pursued us all the way to the Court of Appeal.
Ms Fecitt and her colleagues Annie Woodcock and Felicity Hughes faced daily personal insults and threats from colleagues after raising concerns in 2008. Hours dried up completely for regular bank nurse Ms Hughes, while the other two were transferred to different roles within NHS Manchester.
Last week the government announced it would be amending the law to close the loophole and make it clear that employers were liable for the bullying of whistleblowers by their employees.
Ms Fecitt welcomed the move but told Nursing Times much more needed to change to prevent victimisation of whistleblowers in the NHS, starting with a change in culture.
Source: Nursing Times
- 01 Jul
SCOTLAND AHEAD OF THE UK ON BUILDING NEW HOMES
SNP Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart said the following while commenting on Social Security and Equalities in the Scottish Parliament, SCN reports:"These figures demonstrate Scotland's strong...
- 23 Jun
HEALTHY DIETS FOR CARE HOMES
Joanna Cox, a manager of Chandos Lodge, said:"Food is a huge factor in our residents' lives and we want to ensure the meals we provide not only satisfy their tastes but benefit their health."Healthy...
- 16 Jun
DO HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SERVICES NEED INTEGRATION?
Although, many integration initiatives have been introduced across the NHS; For example, vanguard sites to the prime minister's Challenge Fund and integrated care pioneers- many involving GP...
- 15 Jun
LANDLORDS DIVIDED ON HOW TO VOTE IN EU REFERENDUM
The findings show that landlords are evenly split, with 35% intending to vote leave and 35% intending to vote to remain, reports Housing Excellence.According to Richard Lambert, the NLA's Chief...
- 10 Dec
Highest records of working families since 1996
Research has also shown that parents of young children, who were part of a couple, were almost twice as likely to be in a job. In comparison to older mothers, young mothers under 24 were only half as...
- 05 Dec
What percentage of people have mental disorders in the UK?
Percentage of adults suffering from common mental disorders:Prevalence of common mental disorders:Women (19.7%) are significantly more likely to experience common mental health disorders than men...
- 03 Dec
Safe Tweets, safe Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular platforms where users across the globe collectively contribute 500 million Tweets every day. However, it can sometimes be inevitable that you come across content...
- 17 Jun
Google Creates System to Eradicate Child Abuse Images
Pressure was on the company to do something about the problem after it emerged that men convicted of murdering Tia Sharp, aged 12, and April Jones, aged 5, had been viewing the indecent images online...
- 04 Jun
How Councils Can Improve Home Care
Read the full article at Community Care.Southwark council has agreed in principle to Unison's ethical home care charter and is working with local providers to find out how they could raise pay ...
- 31 May
Man Aged 83 is First Reported Assisted Suicide for Dementia
Reported @ BBC News | Health on 31/5/13He was assessed as mentally competent to make the decision at the centre in Switzerland, as he was only in the first stages of the disease.He did not want to...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association