Organisations within the NHS have failed miserably to talk with medical whistleblowers. It's for this very reason that an inquiry is urgently required to establish a body of reliable evidence on this important subject. From this, effective solutions could be developed to make sure the NHS changes in the future. Two areas that would be helped by this inquiry are preventable deaths and reducing the current high cost of medical litigation. Currently the NHS litigation bill is £15.7 billion. There is a failure of accountability within the NHS to the public.
These conclusions were drawn from the research paper Whistleblowing and Patient Safety: The Patient's or the profession's interest at stake? This can be downloaded here.
"Our recommendations are firstly that the profession, through the GMC or BMA Council, should commission a Consultation Group on Reporting Poor Care. This Group will examine the consequences to all parties from incidents of reported poor care. Second, the Government should consider establishing a Health Select Committee Review of Whistleblowing that would make impartial recommendations to Government and the profession. Third, the Government should consider setting up and resourcing a National Whistleblowing Centre similar to that in the US. We believe that only by open public scrutiny will constructive change be cemented into exemplary clinical practice"
Without a detailed inquiry that includes interviews with NHS Whistleblowers, no effective solution can be developed. So far, all whistleblowers have been excluded from consultations and inquiries. The system has offered lip service ineffective solutions to appease the media and the public at large without any input from experienced whistleblowers.
In reality, the medical establishment's culture has not changed as demonstrated by the Bristol, Shipman and Mid Staffordshire Inquiries. The Mid Staffordshire Inquiries has only taken a broad brush approach to whistleblowing and made recommendations that have no evidence to demonstrate their success. Many aspects of whistleblowing such as indirect gags were not examined by the Inquiry. In the interest of patient safety, we must insist that a full blown HSC Review is undertaken immediately.
It is important that solutions are developed to effect a change in order to improve things for future patients and staff.
Petition at 10 Downing Street.
With thanks to the fantastic Mary Foord-brown for tirelessly + singlehandedly promoting this petition. The national media have refused to feature this petition thus far.