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07.03.16

First National Guardian for NHS whistleblowers resigns after just two months

The first whistleblower guardian for NHS staff has resigned after just two months in the role, saying it was incompatible with her existing role at an NHS trust.

Dame Eileen Sills was made the UK’s first National Guardian in January, after Sir Robert Francis’ 2014 review of whistleblowing across the service found that many healthcare workers are afraid to speak out about poor patient care and safety failures.

Dame Eileen said in a statement that she had to prioritise her position as chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

She said: “It has been a very difficult decision to take but after two months it is very clear that it is not possible to combine the role of the national guardian – and establishment of the office – with the increasing challenges NHS providers face, while doing justice to both roles.”

CQC chief executive David Behan said he was disappointed to receive Dame Eileen’s resignation, but he respected her honesty in making the difficult decision.

“A new appointment process will begin immediately,” he said. “The work of setting up the office of the National Guardian will continue as planned, with a focus on supporting and working with freedom to speak up guardians in NHS trusts and foundation trusts.”

Comments

Rheiba   30/04/2016 at 03:14

Guess that was why you never responded to my emails and letters. I activated the whistleblowing policy at the NHS Trust I have worked for for in excess of 15 years . The trust has repeatedly broken 4 of ther own Policies , and have tried to discredit the evidence I summited. The Cultire and ethos of the NHS needs to change dramatically. Trusts need to listen to concerns raised and support those brave enough to raise them .

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