GMB stands with NHS workers facing the sack for blowing the whistle on government’s coronavirus failings

The GMB says it will stand with NHS workers who face losing their jobs over talking to the media about the government’s coronavirus failings.

NHS England, which has taken over communications in several health trusts, has warned doctors, nurses and other staff will be subject to disciplinary action if they raise with the media health and safety concerns relating to their workplace conditions or patient care, such as a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The NUJ has issued a statement condemning threats made to UK key workers over speaking to journalists.

Earlier today, UNISON reported how health workers were being put at risk because of a lack of PPE.

GMB organiser Helen O’Connor said: “Just as it seemed the widespread and dangerous culture of gagging clauses and suppressing the voices of NHS workers might be coming to an end, it is now intensifying.

“Accurate and honest information about what is happening inside the NHS is key to getting to grips with this pandemic. It is a fact that this virus is causing the untimely deaths of NHS staff and patients.

“It is scandalous that hospital staff who are speaking out publicly because government and NHS trusts are failing them and patients will now be lined up to be sacked by ruthless NHS bosses, who do not want failings in their leadership to be exposed.

“Suppression of information is now not just a matter of democracy; it is now a major public health issue. The GMB will continue to protect and defend all of our NHS members and the voices of our members will be heard.”

The news about gagging whistleblowers comes as unions are increasingly putting pressure on the government to close unsafe workplaces and stop all non-essential work on building sites, in factories, warehouses and in call centres.

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