MPs lobby for NHS unit to help whistleblowers

MPs have tabled an early day motion calling for a specialist unit to support NHS whistleblowers.

The motion proposes an ‘active central unit’ that clinicians can contact with any concerns, including ‘details of inappropriate disciplinary action by health employers’.

It cites cases in which NHS whistleblowers were ‘silenced and sacked’, exposed in an investigation by the magazine Private Eye, as evidence that clinicians need extra support.

The motion has been signed by 18 MPs, most of them Labour and Liberal Democrats. A sole Conservative, Peter Bottomley (Con, Worthing West) has also signed.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'In principle it is important that any healthcare professional should be able to blow the whistle without fear of any adverse consequences on him or her personally.'

He added that the concept of whistleblowing should extend well beyond reporting cases of malpractice, and allow GPs to report issues such as targets or funding restrictions that were adversely affecting their ability to care for their patients.

RCGP Council member Dr Una Coales has urged GPs to contact their MP to urge them to sign the motion.

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