DAUK in Medscape: PPE Whistleblowers

PPE whistleblowers in England should not be ‘gagged’, the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed. 

The Doctors’ Association UK has released results of its latest member survey which found:

  • 46.9% of respondents had been told not to raise concerns about COVID-19 or PPE via social media

  • 47.6% of respondents had been told not to speak to the press about COVID-19 or PPE

  • 15.2% of respondents who had offered opinions on social media had been challenged or disciplined

  • 32% of respondents had experienced bullying around the issues of raising concerns about PPE

Concerns were raised after the BBC’s Newsnight programme heard from some doctors who’d been told by managers to stop speaking publicly about shortages of personal protective equipment. One was told to “stop causing a fuss”.

Chief Executive of whistleblowing charity Protect, Liz Gardiner, said in a news release: “We have had many calls to Protect’s advice line from NHS workers with concerns over PPE and some NHS staff have told us they do not feel safe speaking up, or are not aware of what support channels exist.”