NHS CHIEF SAYS WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE NOT OFFERED MUCH PROTECTION

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NHS CHIEF SAYS WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE NOT OFFERED MUCH PROTECTION –  Issues raised by nurse Lucy Letby’s case have not been resolved

An NHS consultant at the hospital where Lucy Letby murdered seven babies has warned the health service is “almost guaranteeing” another big scandal if whistleblowers are not offered more protection.

Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital where Letby killed the babies and attempted to murder six more, says “The system is stacked against the whistleblower”.

The nurse was able to carry out her crimes after the concerns of whistleblowers at the hospital were ignored. It also emerged managers there took 11 months to involve police after suspicions were raised.

Dr Ravi Jayaram has described a “culture of cover-up” he believes has major implications for all institutions, not just the health service, and said many employees are too scared to speak out for “fear of personal harm and retribution”.

Dr Jayaram backs proposed reform to whistleblowing legislation as part of a private members bill which is due its second reading in the Commons on Friday.

It calls for an independent “Office of the Whistleblower”, which would offer more protection to all members of the public.

“If things stay the same, then the behaviours will stay the same,” Dr Jayaram says, “there will continue to be times when people are too scared to raise concerns for fear of personal harm and retribution.”

Currently whistleblowing in the UK is protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA), which was introduced 25 years ago.

It allows a whistleblower to seek compensation through an employment tribunal if they suffer a detriment because of raising concerns.

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