See article below
Letter from Rab Wilson:
As a previous NHS Whistleblower in Scotland I must speak out about this article.
Dr Jane Hamilton has been selflessly brave in the public stance she has taken here to protect her patients. She was not listened to and this failure of her employers to listen to her grave concerns contributed to the avoidable and needless deaths of patients. What has been done about this? Who has been made accountable?
The National Confidential Alert Line (which I suggested to Nicola Sturgeon) has failed utterly to do the job that I envisaged it doing. It is useless. It has no powers to hold anyone to account.
As for the Scottish Government stating that whistleblowers are being protected they are certainly not being protected by the Scottish Government. Both Jane Hamilton, myself and other whistleblowers I personally know, when they contacted the Scottish Government begging for support and help they were categorically told that this was an 'employer/employee issue' and they were sent back to the self-same NHS boards that stood idly by and allowed the bullying to happen. The Scottish Government washed their hands of these problems.
We are in the illegal position in Scotland of having no independent health regulator for whistleblowers to turn to in their hour of need. Why is this?
In a recent FOI request I made to the Scottish Government asking for figures re the use of confidentiality clauses in NHS settlement agreements is transpires that in the year 2014-15 more than 30% of NHS settlement agreements had confidentiality clauses inserted into them. This was despite the 'presumption being against the use of such clauses' by the health minister. I have asked why this should be the case but have had no acceptable response or explanation from the Scottish Government. Do not believe what you hear or read - gagging clauses have most definitely not been 'outlawed'! More than £2M of public money was spent on them last year!
I will be applying for the non-exec whistleblowing champion post at my health board, NHS Ayrshire and Arran. I have already been turned down twice for non-exec posts with this board. Until we have people with some backbone in these boards nothing will change for bullied staff and whistleblowers.
There is now a nationwide picture emerging with regard to the treatment of whistleblowers in our NHS; Dr Hamiton, Dr Malcolm Loudon, Professor Zyg Krukowski, Dr Wendy Craig, Dr Peter Gordon, Nurses Jackie Flynn and Anne Woods, myself and many, many others. There will be more stories like this to come. There needs to be a cross party response to the disintegration of our NHS and the bullying of staff before it's too late.
ASAP-NHS (Action for a Safe and Accountable People's NHS) will be officially launching in late January, 2016 at an event at Holyrood Parliament. I would encourage anyone who cares deeply about our NHS to get involved with this movement.