NHS whistleblowing tsar role hits new delay after National Guardian quit before even starting work

Daily Mirror   8 MAR 2016    BY ANDREW GREGORY

 

Dame Eileen Sills was appointed to help staff expose poor treatment following the Stafford Hospital scandal – but resigned before starting work on April 1

 

dame eileen sills

Resigned: Dame Eileen Sills quit before she even started

The hunt for a new NHS whistleblowing tsar will not begin until after Easter – and the job may still be ­part-time.

Dame Eileen Sills was made National Guardian to help staff expose poor treatment following the Stafford Hospital scandal.

We revealed yesterday how she quit before her start date of April 1 because she could not juggle the part-time job and her main hospital role.

But now the Care Quality Commission has failed to rule out another part-time post, saying: “The role will be re-advertised after Easter.

“The specification has always allowed for ­flexibility… this included part-time and full employment options.”

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC said he was disappointed to receive Dame Eileen’s resignation but has insisted ‘the work of setting up the office of the National Guardian will continue as planned’.

Read more: New whistleblower tsar only working TWO DAYS a week but keeps £174k NHS job

The revelation is a huge blow for whistleblowers, who say they must be taken seriously so that patient safety is not put at risk.

Top NHS figures have called for a full-time appointment.

The role was created after a report into whistleblowing in the NHS, led by Sir Robert Francis QC, found there was a “serious problem”.

The new office of the National Guardian is scheduled to open on April 1 but the late advertising of the vacant top job means the office could start taking calls with nobody in charge.

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