HOSPITAL bosses have ordered a review of their whistleblowing procedure.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust came in for heavy criticism recently from UNISON for not taking safety concerns seriously enough after attempting to ban paramedic Stuart Gardner, following comments he made in a television interview about patients being treated in corridors in A&E at the Worcestershire Royal.
It has also been revealed by the Trust another whistleblower had raised concerns about theatre standards in an anonymous letter.
The claims centred around the behaviour of consultant surgeons and the bullying of surgical trainees by one of the theatre sisters.
But an extensive investigation, which involved the West Midlands Deanery responsible for the training of junior doctors, found there was no evidence to back up any of the claims.
Harry Turner, chairman of WAHT, said the move was not in response to the incident with Mr Gardner but was being used as an opportunity to review their whistleblowing procedures to ensure they were doing everything they could to allow staff to voice concerns.
“I would not be associated with any organisation that was not listening to its people whether or not through whistleblowing or other means.” he said.
“I do not accept this Trust does not take whistleblowing seriously but that said, we are going to look at what we can do to assure ourselves and improve the process in the future.
“We are going to look around the country and see who are the experts at it. The only way we can get closer to the patients is to get closer to the staff.”
Mr Turner said both he and chief executive Penny Venables already held regular meetings where staff could raise issues in confidence and pointed to a recent example of where they had acted on concerns about patients’ dignity potentially being
compromised by allowing them to walk around in hospital gowns.
“People come and talk to me all the time and talk about issues and that’s the way to do it. If our system is right people have no cause to write anonymous letters or claim to be whistleblowing.”