Protecting whistleblowers is “vital to the health of the nation”, says the Doctors Association UK (DAUK).
DAUK is working with Whistleblowers UK – a not for profit organisation which aims to change how society thinks about whistleblowing.
Their work aims to reframe whistleblowing, seek reform of UK legislation, and call for better protections for those who highlight issues in the NHS.
Dr David Nicholl, a spokesperson for DAUK, said: “Exposing wrongdoing and failings in the NHS is vital to the health of the nation.
“Those failings are directly and indirectly affecting patient care, and costing billions of pounds of NHS and taxpayers’ money in claims of negligence.
“But despite the undisputed benefits of whistleblowing to the NHS, there are potentially serious personal and professional costs attached to it.
“Which is why we need urgent reform of the law to protect those who speak out so they can do so without fear of reprisal from employers, and that the NHS takes whistleblowing seriously for the benefit, ultimately, of patients.”
Now, with a Whistleblowing Bill presented to Parliament last year, DAUK is encouraging MPs and frontline NHS workers to attend a Westminster event examining whistleblowing.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Whistleblowing will host a roundtable event from 10am to midday on Wednesday 29 November.
It takes place in person in the House of Lords Committee Room 1 and online.
The roundtable will:
- Provide policy makers with real examples and the consequences of victimisation in healthcare whistleblowers for patients and the public
- Promote urgent change and how this links to the proposals made by the APPG Whistleblowing Bill and an Office for the Whistleblower.
- Be a call to action for parliamentarians, regulators and professionals to take practical steps to move the agenda to transform whistleblowing legislation forward and join and support the work of the APPG and WhistleblowersUK.
The Keynote speakers are Dr Rosalind Ranson, former Isle of Man medical director; Bernie Rochford MBE, principal freedom to speak up guardian; Rob Behrens CBE Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman; and Steve Turner, chair of Whistleblowers UK Health Focus Group.
Sitting on the panel will be Professor Phil Banfield, BMA Council chair; Dr Chris Day, emergency medicine doctor; Cathryn Watters, founder of NMCWatch; Georgina Halford-Hall, chief executive of Whistleblowers UK; Dr Ravi Jayram, consultant paediatrician at Countess of Chester NHS Trust), and Jenny Vaughan OBE, of DAUK.
It will be chaired by Baroness Susan Kramer and Jo Gideon MP.
Dr David Nicholl said: “The event is an ideal opportunity for politicians to learn why the Protection for Whistleblowing Bill is important for patients and the public, so we’d ask DAUK members to encourage their local MPs to attend.”