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Saturday 23rd June 2018

NHS whistle-blowers should have more support

11th May 2009

The Royal College of Nursing has called for "whistle-blowers" to be given more support by the health service.


The calls follow the striking off of nurse Margaret Haywood after she filmed examples of poor care at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for the BBC's Panorama. 

The RCN's annual conference begins this week. It released the results of a poll of 5,000 nurses which showed that while almost two thirds of nurses have brought up their worries about treatment, over a third said nothing had been done.

Nurses also said they were concerned about what would happen if they spoke out, although they are formally protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

80% of nurses said they were worried they would be victimised for voicing their opinions, while a fifth said that they had been "actively discouraged" from speaking out.

One nurse who spoke out told the RCN: "There are some managers who still marginalise me and make it clear that I am persona non grata. I have been told I will never get on in the trust because I don't go with the flow."

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said nurses needed to be reassured that they would not suffer consequences for talking about problems.

He added: "We've had laws protecting whistle-blowers for 10 years, however they are not worth the paper they're written on."

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Vijaya Prasad

Wednesday 13th May 2009 @ 15:38

I agree that more support must be give to these courageous nurses, and the bullies who threaten them should be penalised. The public has a right to know what kind of care is being provided in the hospitals. Any one of us may need one of these hospitals at any time.

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