NHS whistleblowers charter for consultation
NHS whistleblowers will be given greater protection under changes being considered in the aftermath of the nursing standards scandal at Mid Staffordshire hospitals.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said a “culture of fear” had pervaded Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where between 400 and 1,200 patients died due to poor nursing care between 2005 and 2009, which enabled problems to continue “unchallenged and undetected for so long”.
As a result of the Mid Staffordshire nursing scandal and other problems, Mr Lansley has announced a consultation is to take place over changes to the NHS Constitution, which sets out what staff, patients and the public can expect from the service.
NHS whistleblowers ‘need greater legal protection’ says BMJ
Mr Lansley aims to bring about a cultural shift in the NHS to make it easier for employees to highlight failings.
Specifically, he wants to introduce “an NHS pledge that employers will support all staff in raising such concerns” and “create an expectation that NHS staff will raise concerns about safety, malpractice and wrong doing … as early as possible”.
Reports have repeatedly highlighted how serious problems at hospitals have been allowed to continue because staff have been too afraid to speak up.
An independent report commissioned by the Government last year concluded that patients were “robbed of their dignity” at Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital, with some left in soiled bedclothes, while families had to clean lavatories and public areas themselves. Staff were “uncaring” and managers “in denial” about the problems.
The NHS consultation closes on January 11.
One Comment so far:Posted by: Health Direct on October 20, 2010
Tags: Andrew Lansley, BMJ, Health Professionals, National Health Service, NHS, Patients' Association