New measures to protect NHS whistleblowers

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New measures to protect NHS whistleblowers

Extra measures are to be put in place to protect so-called whistleblowers, who raise concerns within the NHS.

Sir Robert Francis presented his findings on the his ‘Freedom to Speak Up Review’ today, which revealed NHS staff faced “isolation” and “bullying” if they spoke out.

The need for new measures to protect whistleblowers was called for by the man who led an inquiry into the care scandal at Stafford Hospital.

The inquiry found staff often knew about poor practices, but were too scared to report the problems for “fear of victimisation.”

The evidence was based on evidence from more that 600 people, and an online survey.

Ministers say Hospital Trusts will have to appoint a guardian to help those who speak out.

Several hospitals in London have made the headlines in recent years after staff made issues public.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke about the issue in Parliament earlier.

Former Labour health secretary Frank Dobson and MP for Holborn and St Pancras, warned Mr Hunt "not to think that because he has decided something and because a circular has been issued something has happened".

Tory Bernard Jenkin MP said the freedom to speak up guardian role needed to provide complete legal protection for people speaking up, immunity from Freedom of Information requests so the information and names could not be exposed maliciously, plus the capacity to investigate what is reported to them on a completely independent basis.

The chairman of the Commons Public Administration Select Committee said the report "goes right to the heart" of the inquiry the committee was conducting into clinical incident investigation.

The journalist and commentator Ruth Barnes joined The Evening News to talk about the measures of trust within an organisation like the NHS and if these guardians will protect those who decide to blow the whistle.

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