Swain & Co welcomes the formation of organisation Patients First which is a group campaigning for better support and protection for NHS staff who raise concerns about patient safety. “Whistleblowers” are vulnerable and need support and protection.
Swain & Co and other organisations such as Patients First have always pressed for more openness in the NHS and in particular openness with patients including a duty on doctors to admit their mistakes.
The aim of Patients First is to reduce death and harm in the NHS by campaigning for the UK government to create policies and laws that ensure that the NHS becomes open and accountable. Patients First will actively support all those who raise concerns about patient safety.
The Patients First website expresses concern that “NHS whistleblowers risk everything to protect patients” and how “most are forced to sign secret contracts”.
Patients First hope to reach 100,000 supporters by the end of 2012 and aim very much to be a campaign group comprising NHS doctors, managers and a wide range of healthcare professionals. The focus is on improving patient safety.
There are any number of definitions of a whistleblower but the Oxford dictionary describes a whistleblower as “a person who informs on someone engaged in an illicit activity”. The same dictionary refers to “blow the whistle” as “bring an illicit activity to an end by informing on (the person responsible)”.
Swain & Co are experts in clinical negligence claims and support any campaign to ensure that the NHS becomes open and accountable.