Patients_First_membersnewsletter - Patients First

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					    Patients First members’ newsletter. November 2013


Welcome!                                          recommendations contained in our evidence
                                                  to the Public Concern at Work
Patients First is growing in size and influence   Whistleblowing Commission (web link to our
and this newsletter is one small sign of that.    evidence) and they are now available as a
This will be a regular way of keeping you up to   stand along document setting out our
speed on key developments including our           concerns and goals.
activities.                                       We have written to the General Medical
Activity                                          Council insisting that we be given reasons why
                                                  our referral of the Chief Medical Officer of
We have given support to a significant            ATOS for breach of Good medical Practice has
number of whistleblowers from hospital            been rejected on what we believe are
consultants to health care assistants. We are     outrageous grounds.
not able to represent whistleblowers but we
do try to give some pointers and put them in      Elsie Gayle and Roger Kline met with the
touch with other whistleblowers who have          Nursing and Midwifery Council to discuss a
been battered and survived. We have a             number of concerns, particularly over the lack
growing archive of “Tell my story” files which    of support for whistleblowers and the failure
we use to evidence our lobbying. It is really     to hold employers to account for victimising
important that we get as many of these as         whistleblowers. The NMC has issued revised
possible.                                         guidance strengthening some parts of their
                                                  advice. We’ll be monitoring if this changes
Our chair Kim Holt was invited to meet            employers’ behaviour.
Jeremy Hunt’s special adviser and make
suggestions as to what might improve the          Media
position of whistleblowers in the NHS. She
                                                  Elsie Gayle, lead midwife and victimised
did, referring to a number of our priorities
                                                  whistleblower for Patients First made an
http://www.patientsfirst.org.uk/?page_id=83
                                                  excellent appearance on BBC1 talking about
                                                  compassion in hospitals. We are currently in
David Johnstone and Roger Kline met with
                                                  discussion with Elsie’s previous employer
Dean Royles, chief exec of the NHS                about their previous failure to investigate her
Employers, and made a number of                   protected disclosures about patient safety
suggestions to follow up a previous meeting,      and racism.
also linked to our recommendations.
                                                  Jennie Fecitt, our lead nurse and another
We met with CQC CEO David Behan this              victimised whistleblower has made a number
month. We have added to our
of media appearances, notably on the
ambulance service crisis.                         Our second success was the beginning of
                                                  fundamental change at the CQC with the
Kim Holt, Patients First chair was nominated      removal of the previous toxic regime of
                                                  Cynthia Bower and her team. We
as one of healthcare’s most inspirational         pressed for the reinstatement of Kay
female leaders http://tinyurl.com/pdv64vq         Sheldon as a Board member and we
                                                  won.
In Northern Ireland the thriving Patients First
branch has launched its own twitter account       We supported the valiant campaign by
                                                  James Titcombe for openness and justice
@PatientsFirstNI and is doing excellent work      at Morecombe Bay. James has made
                                                  great progress and his appointment at
In Scotland, Patients First is planning its       the CQC is a sign of progress there.
formal launch on November 27th with
Ministerial support.                              We supported Gary Walker when he
                                                  risked all to break the gag imposed on
Patients First is backing the excellent Nursing   him.
Times SOS campaign to support                     We campaigned, alongside Julie bailey
whistleblowers. Please check the NT web site      and colleagues, for the dismissal of
http://www.nursingtimes.net/opinion/speak-        David Nicholson and are delighted he
out-safely/ and if your Trust isn’t signed up,    has had to resign

find out why.                                     We welcomed the Keogh Review with its
                                                  emphasis on openness as showing the
Truth and reconciliation. Patients First has      way to more effective inspection
called for an NHS Truth and Reconciliation
Commission in an article in HSJ.                  We are delighted that the CQC’s new
                                                  “intelligent monitoring” has been a
http://tinyurl.com/pvhgfsw                        major wake up call to all those Trusts
                                                  who have been ignoring or bullying
Julie Bailey. Julie has been a great supporter    whistleblowers for years
of Patients First and we have enthusiastically
supported the Stafford Cure the NHS               We have strongly supported Nursing
                                                  Times excellent Speak Out Safely
Campaign she helped found. Julie has now
                                                  campaign
been driven out of Stafford by a thoroughly
nasty group of people who have utterly            We NOW welcome the conclusions and
misrepresented her views and have links with      recommendations of the Clwyd Review
                                                  which include several of our
local politicians and the former Trust. Julie     recommendations:
continues to campaign and we will continue
to work with her and her colleagues.              “However, we have heard in the course
                                                  of our work repeated concerns about a
We continue to successfully                       number of unresolved questions
                                                  surrounding this issue. These concerns
make waves!                                       relate firstly to securing justice for past
                                                  whistle-blowers whose careers have
Patients First has been campaigning for
                                                  been seriously jeopardised and who
recommendations designed to put an
                                                  have suffered financially as a result of
end to the culture that punishes too
                                                  drawing attention to malpractice.
many staff for raising concerns about
                                                  We urge the Department of Health to
patient care and safety.
                                                  undertake the review of such cases with
                                                  a view to
Our first success was the abolition of
                                                  both learning lessons for the future and
gagging clauses. We welcomed that.
undertaking restorative justice for those          the call for a named Board
individuals affected.                               member for whistleblowing
                                              There is much more to do, but not
Secondly, there remains disquiet about        bad for our first two years!
the opportunities available for staff to be
heard, when they believe there is bad         Useful links
practice both within hospitals, and in the
wider regulatory system.                      James Titcombe. James has led a fantastic
There is uncertainty too about what           campaign for justice at Morecombe Bay. Here
employment protection is genuinely to
be offered to                                 is his article from Nursing Times on Patient
future whistle-blowers who reveal their       Safety http://tinyurl.com/pnsd7zz
concerns externally to regulators, or the
press and media, for example                  Health Foundation\human factors. Patients
                                              First has met with Martin Bromiley and we are
Future arrangements
We believe that much more needs to be
                                              big fans of his Human Factors approach to
done to avoid the need for whistle-           safety. http://tinyurl.com/m3jpc5a
blowing in the future, and to protect
those who with justification speak out,       Berwick Report. Don Berwick’s report sets out
where there is no other means of              the broad principles that should underpin all
drawing attention to situations where
                                              patient safety. If you haven’t done so already
patient safety is threatened.
                                              read it at (link). Then join us in making sure it
Recommendations:                              is implemented. http://tinyurl.com/m3jpc5a
●● Clear guidance for staff on how they
should report concerns, including access      Keogh report . Another excellent report both
to the Chief Executive on request.            for its findings and its methodology.
Action: DH
●● A board member with responsibility         http://tinyurl.com/q3k7vyg
for whistle-blowing should be accessible
to staff on a regular basis. Action:          Michael West has pioneered research for
Trusts                                        over a decade showing the linked between
●● A legal obligation to consider             how staff are treated and patient experience
concerns raised by staff, and to act on
them if confirmed to be true. Action:
                                              and outcomes. The latest excellent work from
Trusts                                        his team is at http://tinyurl.com/pwz7qow
●● In assessing the complaints systems
of hospitals the CQC should investigate        Public Concern at Work have published the
the ease with which staff can express         only research analysing the experiences of
concerns and how whistleblowing is
                                              large numbers of UK whistleblowers including
responded to where it has taken place.
Action: CQC                                   in health. Depressing ,but useful reading.
●● The CQC itself should designate a          http://tinyurl.com/ox6zmn7
board-member with specific
responsibility for whistleblowing, and        LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
ensure that it acts on intelligence
received from whistle-blowers. Action:        Getting involved in Patients First
CQC
                                              Our influence is growing but we have much
We especially welcome
                                              more to do. We need your active support:

      The call for a DH review – our         Joining and donate to our over stretched
       proposed commission would do           finances
       just that
                                              Spread the word
Thinking about becoming an active member

Follow us on Twitter and Retweet us!

We are at:

http://www.patientsfirst.org.uk/ and at
patientsfirst@aol.co.uk

				
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