Whistle-Blowers ‘Put Off’ by NHS Wales Complaints Procedure

Whistle-Blowers ‘Put Off’ by NHS Wales Complaints Procedure

Welsh NHS Doctors feel that the new-whistle blowing policy is putting people off raising grievances about poor care according to BBC Wales.

The ‘All Wales Whistle-blowing Policy’ was published in July following Health Minster Mark Drakeford saying that he wanted people to be able to raise their concerns.

However the British Medical Association believes that the policy could results in people feeling confused or threatened because the policy procedure is complicated.

The Welsh government have said that the policy would be reviewed before the end of March 2014.

Mr Drakeford’s decision to implement the policy is just one of the measures that aims to reduce poor standards of care akin to the Mid Staffordshire Trust scandal.

Robert Francis led a public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Trust scandal where he accused health service managers of placing corporate self-interest in front of interests of patients.

Mr Drakeford called for a “culture of conversation” in the Welsh health service in July this year. He wanted to create this so that people could easily voice their care concerns with the benefit of being heard.

Phil Banfield chair of the British Medical Association’s Welsh council feels that the whistle-blowing policy was more focused on the process over encouraging transparency and openness.

He told BBC Wales: “That’s a problem for us because it seems to threaten disciplinary action if the process is not followed”

“It is our experience in different organisations that people who raise concerns fear for their future in the organisation. That is getting worse not better.

“The emphasis on following procedure and being disciplined if procedure is not follow really worries members.

“We’ve had various members raise concerns over patient safety where they say they have talked to the management structure and the concerns have not been address.

“In fact they’ve been made to feel trivialised by raising the concerns.”

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