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‘We need to create an environment where NHS staff are encouraged to speak out’ - Kirsty Williams

2013 Hydref 23 12:59 PM

Commenting on the British Medical Association's criticism of the new All Wales Whistleblowing Policy, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"I remain to be convinced whether the new 'All Wales Whistleblowing Policy' has made it easier for NHS staff to come forward with problems they see in their workplace.

"It is critical that staff working within our NHS feel they are able to raise their concerns. Speaking out should be made as easy as possible. I am concerned that this new process is too complex.

"For too long the Welsh Labour Government has sat back and left NHS organisations to deal with whistleblowers themselves. A lot of the new guidance continues that trend. It's time for the Welsh Labour Government to take a lead on this issue.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently called for Wales to have its own free telephone hotline available for NHS staff. At the moment, the options available for those who want to voice genuine concerns are not coherent enough. We need a single Wales-wide point of contact.

"The recent horrific scandals at Mid Staffordshire hospitals highlighted the importance of NHS staff being able to express concerns on problems they see in the workplace. Currently many staff feel too intimidated to speak out. The Welsh Labour Government needs to help create an environment where NHS staff feel encouraged to come forward with major issues they see."