News: Government to protect NHS whistleblowers from employment discrimination

Empathy and emotional awareness within the field of NHS complaints, quality, patient safety, and leadership are the essence of my lived and breathed work.

CarolynComing from a counselling background but significantly following the loss of a 15-year-old child in a hospital, I now train healthcare and legal professionals on many aspects of what gets in the way of honest sharing and understanding vital emotional data to prevent prolonged psychological harm (Duty of Candour) for all involved. So I am pleased to read that further steps are going to be taken to support staff working in the NHS.

‘NHS whistleblowers will be protected from discrimination when applying for another job in the health service under draft regulations introduced by the Government on 19th March, 2018.

Part of efforts to make the NHS “the safest healthcare system in the world”, the proposed powers mean NHS employers will not lawfully be able to discriminate against job applicants who have previously blown the whistle on potential risks to patient safety.

Any applicants who face discrimination will get legal protection and NHS employers will face tough penalties if applicants’ complaints are upheld.

For too long we have failed to protect those who are brave enough to speak out when others won’t Caroline Dinenage

The move is part of the Government’s wider drive to develop a culture of openness and transparency within the NHS.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care, said: “These important measures should ensure staff can raise concerns knowing they are protected by the law and that their career in the NHS will not be damaged as a result of wanting to do the right thing.

“For too long we have failed to protect those who are brave enough to speak out when others won’t.

“We want to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world so we must build a culture of openness and transparency among our staff.”

The changes were a key recommendation in Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up Review, which found a number of people struggled to find employment in the NHS after making protected disclosures about patient safety.

The measures sit alongside existing initiatives, which includes a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role within every NHS organisation as well as nationwide pilots to support NHS whistleblowers and help them back into work.

Subject to parliamentary approval on March 19, the regulations will give applicants a right to complain to an employment tribunal if they have been discriminated against because it appears they have previously spoken out.

It will also enable compensation to be awarded if a complaint is upheld.’

Promoting a collaborative responsibility towards the NHS and on the basis that whether patient, loved one (like I was), nurse, consultant or CEO, each and every person is a human being. A human being that is fallible and vulnerable, as well as strong and compassionate. Driven by emotions and fears. Having gone through the NHS complaints system myself, and now working with many complaints staff, to empower and inspire staff to be open and honest, providing care and protection also is vital in promoting a psychologically healthy NHS as well as safe one. All supporting an emotionally healthy culture for staff, that can be then transferred to the patients and loved ones.

New format CCET PNG To see more of how I can work with organisations to promote an empathic and emotionally aware culture, click on the brochure or here

For testimonials see here


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