NHS reforms

24.04.19

Hancock vows to ban gagging orders for NHS whistleblowers

Health secretary Matt Hancock has vowed to banish the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the NHS.

Hancock has said he will ban the gagging orders as he wants more staff to feel they can “put their head above the parapet,” declaring that the government “stands with whistleblowers.”

Hancock said: “Making someone choose between the job they love and speaking the truth to keep patients safe is an injustice I am determined to end.

He said whistleblowers perform a vital and courageous service for the NHS, and agreements that infringe on people’s right to speak out for the benefit of patients are “completely inappropriate.”

“But they must have a safe, open culture to do this in order to achieve the ambitions set out in the long-term plan and make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world,” Hancock noted.

The comments come amid growing concerns over the treatment of NHS whistleblowers and the use of NDAs to silence staff.

Last year MPs and doctors lead calls for whistleblowing legislation, which they said is outdated and can prevent staff from coming forward, to be changed and replaced with a specific NHS law.

Then in February, Hancock announced new competency and ethical standards in a bid to change the NHS’s “morally abhorrent and operationally foolish” approach to whistleblowers.

The gagging orders have come under criticism across a range of sectors, and it emerged last week that universities had spent nearly £90m on pay-offs with NDAs attached in the last two years.

 In March, the government announced toughened legal measures to prevent employers using confidentiality agreements to prevent staff from reporting crimes, harassment or discrimination.

Image credit - Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

UH Bristol NHS Foundation Trust retains ‘Outstanding’ rating from CQC

16/08/2019UH Bristol NHS Foundation Trust retains ‘Outstanding’ rating from CQC

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has once again been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by inspectors from the Care Quality Comm... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit medicines ‘express freight service’

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit medicines ‘express freight service’

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... more >
CQC rates Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust ‘Good’

14/08/2019CQC rates Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust ‘Good’

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has achieved a score of ‘Good’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). ... more >

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 e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Urology nurses are leading the way in adoption of prostate cancer biopsy technique

11/07/2019Urology nurses are leading the way in adoption of prostate cancer biopsy technique

Jonah Rusere, Advanced Nurse Practitioner for South East London Accountable Cancer Network, outlines an opportunity for urology nurses to make a difference to prostate cancer pathways. What is TRexit and why is it great news for prostate cancer patients all over the country? Let me explain. TRexit is the name given to a national... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

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. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... 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 professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News