Now we know how much regard the Conservatives have for professionals who care enough about health and social care to blow the whistle on dangerous situations: None at all.

Tucked away in a recent National Audit Office report on the NHS and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission, is the extraordinary statistic that the number of whistleblowers who tipped off the regulator fell by a staggering 16 per cent to 7452 in 2016-17. That is one in six fewer whistleblowers than the previous year.

The figure compares with 153,000 members of the public – an increase of one per cent – expressing concerns about services during the same period.

And the latest figures come after a report by Robert Francis QC to Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary,which was highly critical of the way some had been treated after they made a complaint.

In 2015, Francis reported widespread severe victimisation of staff by senior management when they spoke up for patients. Francis recognised that sacked whistleblowers are blacklisted and recommended a re-employment scheme but nothing seems to have come of it.

His most substantial recommendation was for a National Guardian to protect staff. This led the CQC to create a part time post with no powers. The first appointee, Dame Eileen Sills, quit before starting.

Source: Exclusive: Are whistleblowers now too frit to reveal when NHS patients and care home residents are in danger? | David Hencke


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