Unite pledges support for NHS whistleblowers

Unite has pledged to support whistleblowers in the NHS, recommending they should chat to their union rep if they have safety concerns.

The union has joined others in protecting their members from unsafe workplace practices. UNISON has set up a whistleblowers’ hotline, the GMB  is supporting those who have been threatened with the sack for talking to the media and the NUJ condemned threats made to UK key workers over speaking to journalists.

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “At this time of national emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is right that the legal protections covering whistleblowers in the NHS are highlighted.

“Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, will be monitoring the situation very closely in the weeks ahead and will give maximum support to any member who may face disciplinary procedures as a result of raising legitimate concerns, for example, the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“The current legislation protecting whistleblowers has been further underpinned by the NHS Staff Council statement of 28 February and the English Social Partnership Forum statement on 1 April.

“Any NHS worker that suspects they are being victimised for whistleblowing should contact their ‘freedom to speak up’ guardian which every trust in England should have in place. If they are a union member, they should contact their workplace representative or local union office.

“There have been anecdotal stories on social media that some NHS bosses may have been clamping down on those wishing to expose failings in the system and improve the well-being of patients. If we discover concrete evidence that this is happening, we will act immediately to support our members.”

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