Doctors urged to blow whistle on patient abuse
Tuesday 26 July 2011
Doctors and nurses who fail to blow the whistle on substandard care or patient abuse should face being struck off the register, according to the Health Select Committee.
A "dramatic rise" in complaints against individual health professionals over the last year is revealed in the first annual reports about the General Medical and the Nursing and Midwifery Councils.
This follows a cascade of scandals involving vulnerable and elderly people in care homes and NHS hospitals. Stephen Dorrell, chairman of the committee, said there had been too little focus on quality in the last 12 months amid polarised debates about savings and NHS reforms.
He said the committee wants the regulators to show "real leadership" in changing the culture to ensure whistleblowing is seen as a professional obligation and not a choice. He said the committee will examine the perverse ways some whistleblowers face sanctions after The Independent revealed cases of health professionals suspended or sacked for raising concerns.
Mr Dorrell said: "For those doctors and nurses who knew, or ought to have known what was going on at Mid Staffs or Winterbourne House, averting their eyes is no defence and they should be in front of the regulator. This requires a change in culture, so that second best is no longer tolerated because it is incompatible with professional obligations."
The committee will urge the government to tackle the problem of doctors and nurses from Europe, who can work here without having language or clinical skills tested.
It said regulators must investigate the increase in complaints by next year and deal with safety cases more quickly. The regulators promised to act on the recommendations.
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...