After much publicity and media coverage Sir Robert Francis was commissioned a review into NHS whistleblowing
After three month delays Francis report into whistleblowing was finally published on 11 February 2015. There were numerous media coverage of the publication of the report.
What about the coverage after published report? Here are some of them:
So what did NHS whistleblowers and their supporters think?
I think the Speak Up review helps to advance understanding of what happens to NHS whistleblowers, but it does not reveal the full picture. I found it disappointing overall, as do a number of other whistleblowers.
Through its weakness, Robert Francis' report ultimately fails patients.
Well the long awaited Francis report on whistle blowing , The review its self was finally an acknowledgement of the fact all is not well in our NHS . For years many of us having been highlighting these problems at great personal cost. It has taken many years to simply get the acknowledgement that something needed to be done. Would we have had the Francis report without the persistent pressure ? Without the help of Social media , some straight talking ,open emails and of course the help of our national press highlighting our concerns? I suspect not . The review team had to work within the terms of reference, That I accept , however I don't believe those in power can clap their hands in joy and claim to have addressed the issues raised and found us all a miracle solution . Why are those that bullied , harassed and hounded good staff out of their jobs still in post? Who protects the guardians? And will we now have a new wave of unprotected naive whistle blowers that assume because of the review it is now safe to speak up? Has anything really changed ? Has there been a culture change over night? was there at the very least a public apology from. Mr Hunt ? An apology may seem unimportant when there are much bigger issues, but let's face it, if a government/DH/nhs can't deliver a simple basic apology to all those that have lost so much, then what hope is there for the complete culture change? In order for all to move forward the issues of the past need to have been addressed , Nothing has changed for those that sacrificed so much in order to protect patients . Friday 13th Canary Wharf I met yet again with a whistle blower , despite The Francis review, the trust in his case continue to persecute. Beware there is no overnight fix, those that bully, victimise, persecute have not been disciplined nor are they likely to be . It is often said to me patient complainants suffer in the same way whistle blowers do , it's true. Being a Nhs whistle blower and complainant I have seen this time and time again , many patients themselves, their families are still afraid to complain , leaving issues unresolved . It is the same for whistle blowers . Patient families still continue to knock on the door for help despite the other Francis Report , I don't expect my case load to decrease in the coming year . Whistle blowing & Complaining comes with a heavy price tag , The day you dare to speak up is the day your world is turned upside down and life is never ever the same again. On the plus side through out the past 7 years I have had the privilege of meeting some incredibly brave people .
The Francis report was not only 3 months late but could have easily been written without anyone ever meeting a live whistleblower. It is virtually a lit. review that contains readily available information about what employers do to whistleblowers, collated from existing reports and research.
Will it make one iota of difference to current whistleblowers? (“Current” is defined as those of us who are still asking and waiting for help four, five, ten years after we reported and were vindicated. There is no such thing as “historic” whistleblowing.)
The answer is “No”. It will make no difference whatsoever. Francis and the report editors intentionally neglected to include any suggestions about what will be done to right the wrongs that everyone acknowledges has been done to those of us still fighting for justice.
Will it make a difference to those who might have been “future whistleblowers”? Probably. It is likely to discourage them from making protected disclosures as they have now seen a written report which confirms that many are not protected, and have no recourse. The report confirms that whistleblowers are bullied, illegally sacked and blacklisted by the NHS, ESRs contain illegal and inaccurate data; they will probably see their careers terminated and are likely to lose their homes and families too.
The word “consequences” appears in the report 16 times. In 14 of those cases it refers to consequences of reporting that are experienced by whistleblowers. In one instance the report quickly and vaguely skims over a suggestion that NHS managers will receive “consequences” for doing what it recognises – 14 times – that they do. It simply says “there will be consequences” and does not even suggest what those should be or who will charge them with the offences (p.163, 7.5.8. The other case, p.105, 5.5.15, refers to the reference that will be made in 7.5.8).
We have proved that NHS staff, Board members, NEDs, failed to do their duty, ignored PIDA, committed misconduct in public office and received rewards for their co-operation: Promotions, contracts, payoffs, prestigious positions. Who would voluntarily discontinue this lucrative practice?
These are the facts. Until justice is done for those still struggling and fighting for it, who need nothing more than cash to buy it, this is never going to be over. This is not a life. It is a barely tolerable existence, we did nothing to deserve it and it gets progressively worse. It is not historic. It is daily.
There must be consequences for the many identified NHS staff and NEDs who have destroyed whistleblowers, ridden the Magic Roundabout and are still employed – either within or outside the NHS – before we will accept that our situations are sufficiently understood, are being taken seriously and are being corrected. So far there is no evidence that this is even being considered. There is no safe way to blow the whistle. We waited, tentatively hopeful, for months, for nothing.
History has repeated itself, yet again, with regards to Sir Robert’s Report on whistleblowers as it would appear that there is no recommendation to address the injustices suffered by individual historic whistleblowers notwithstanding some have lost both their beloved careers and homes. I am told that some may have even lost their lives as a consequence of suicide.
I see whistleblowers and NHS complainants fighting the same cause and that is to improve patient safety issues within our NHS. However, the establishment see us as the enemy, not because we are wrong, but because we expose gross failures in the system and individuals, which is clearly detrimental to the wellbeing of our NHS. The establishment would rather cover up errors than address them for the better of all. There is conveniently no accountability when protocols, guidelines and laws are blatantly breached and that’s exactly how the establishment, in my view, want it to stay. I believe Sir Robert has failed again to ensure accountability when whistleblowers are vilified for speaking out.
It also frustrates me so very much when I hear arguments that healthcare professionals fear being open and honest about errors because of the alleged blame culture. All patients request is that doctors who make mistakes should be honest and accept responsibility for their actions – is that really too much to ask in a purported democratic country? It’s not the blame culture that healthcare professionals should fear but the consequences when they decide to lie and cover up their mistakes. The cover up culture in the NHS is like a very naughty child – it needs to receive appropriate punishment to make it stop.
Have we lost the meaning of Justice, what kind of society is being created, if power is greater than truth, then confidence will be lost
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