NHS staff invited to comment on new policy to encourage whistleblowing

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The first national whistleblowing policy for the NHS aims to encourage doctors and other NHS employees in England to report bullying, threats to the safety of patients, and other harmful practices in their organisation, without blighting their careers in the process.

The draft policy, drawn up by Monitor, the NHS Development Authority, and NHS England, will be open to consultation for eight weeks from 16 November. NHS organisations, patients, and staff are invited to comment, in confidence if they wish.

This week in healthcare: 18 February 2013

As doctors call for pregnant women to be tested for alcohol intake, Channel 4 News has spoken to youngsters left permanently brain damaged by their mothers’ drinking. Tomorrow nearly 70 medical professionals and the FASD Trust will publish the first clear guidance into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Whistleblowing legislation is to be overhauled and a government consultation held to investigate whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act (Pida) 1998 is failing to protect those who speak out from being victimised, harassed and even sacked by their employers.

Fizzy drink – what’s the cost?

In today’s news, the Guardian reports that the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has put forward a 10-point action plan to help end UK’s status as the ‘fat man of Europe’. Britain’s 220,000 doctors are demanding a 20% increase in the cost of sugary drinks, fewer fast food outlets near schools and a ban on unhealthy food in hospitals.

The Telegraph reports that baby formula milk should carry bigger cigarette packet-style warnings that breastfeeding would be better, Save the Children has claimed.Also on the Guardian, Staffordshire’s police and crime commissioner says detectives are examining ‘information not in the public domain’ in regards to the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

 

Elsewhere, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned NHS bosses against allowing a culture that is “legalistic and defensive” in dealing with staff who raise concerns over patient care, according to the BBC. Hunt says in the letter:

“I would ask you to pay very serious heed to the warning from Mid Staffordshire that a culture which is legalistic and defensive in responding to reasonable challenges and concerns can all too easily permit the persistence of poor and unacceptable care.”

NHS whistleblowers helpline launched

Extract from the BBC website

A free helpline for whistleblowers in the NHS and social services is to be launched on Sunday 1 January 2012.  The move is part of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s drive to ensure staff can raise “genuine concerns” about standards “without fear of reprisal”. But a whistleblowers’ group said the announcement was an “admission of failure” that existing internal processes were not working. The helpline – 08000 724 725 – will be provided by the Royal Mencap Society.

Continue reading at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16361094