latest health care news


Senior managers to face new competency standards as Hancock pledges to protect NHS whistleblowers

New competency and ethical standards to clamp down on NHS managers have been announced as Matt Hancock promises to change the “morally abhorrent and operationally foolish” approach to whistleblowers in the NHS.

Senior managers of NHS organisations will have to meet competency standards, and the government has pledged to set up a central database for the qualifications, previous employment, and the performance of directors.

Matt Hancock’s announcement comes after a review of the NHS’s fit and proper persons test, led by Tom Kark QC, produced seven recommendations for how the government can better support NHS senior leaders to deliver high-quality and safe care.

In addition to the two above recommendations accepted by the government, the remaining five will be considered as part of a workforce implementation plan led by Baroness Dido Harding later this year.

In a speech in London today, Matt Hancock will promise to create a “more just culture in the NHS, starting at the top,” and criticise the NHS for forcing whistleblowers to risk their jobs if they want to speak up about safety risks.

The health secretary will say: “Mistakes should be seen as an opportunity to learn and improve, not a need for cover-up and denial.

“So whistleblowers are doing the NHS a great service. Someone, who has the courage to speak up and put their head above the parapet, should be encouraged and embraced.

“Yet, sadly, all too often, they're ignored, bullied and worse – forced out.

“Making someone choose between the job they love, and speaking the truth to keep patients safe, is morally abhorrent and operationally foolish.

“It's an injustice I am determined to end.”

Other recommendations in Kark’s review which are still to be considered include setting up a new organisation that can suspend directors who are found to have committed serious misconduct such as bulling and harassment.

Image credit -  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >


NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took st... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >