Inquests & Public Inquiries

NHS Whistleblowers group says report highlighting Government’s ‘lack of progress’ on various patient safety Inquiry recommendations is ‘gravely concerning’

Hospital Porter
3 min read time
22 Mar 2024

A group representing hundreds of healthcare professionals from across the UK says it is ‘gravely concerning’ that an independent report has highlighted a ‘lack of progress’ from the Government in implementing changes recommended at various inquiries to improve patient safety.

The report, commissioned by the Health and Social Committee and led by Professor Dame Jane Dacre, today highlighted ‘delays to take real action’ on recommendations from various independent Inquiries and reviews since 2010.

These covered maternity safety and leadership, training of staff in health and social care, and culture of safety and whistleblowing. Amongst others, it included inquiries into the Morecambe Bay Maternity and Mid Staffordshire tragedies.

The panel gave the government a rating of “requires improvement” across the policy areas.

‘Gravely concerning’

NHSWB (NHS Whistleblowers) – a dedicated support group for current and former health professionals, recently instructed Hudgell Solicitors to apply on its behalf for involvement in the Thirlwall Inquiry later this year.

They hope to be able to give evidence to highlight “a culture detrimental to patient safety” across the NHS.

The group says today’s report has reinforced its belief that the manner by which whistleblowers, both in the NHS and other professions, are handled, investigated and treated ‘requires urgent review’.

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Martyn Pitman, of the NHSWB said:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, at least to anyone working in the NHS, the report raises significant concern regarding the ‘lack of progress’ and ‘time taken for real action to be taken’ by the Government following receipt of the Inquiry reports and their recommendations.

Given that this series of Independent Public Inquiries were undertaken as a result of recurrent, serious patient safety concerns, in most cases including avoidable deaths and very serious injuries, this lamentable lack of demonstrable progress is gravely concerning.

This concern extends beyond current patients, previous patients and their grieving relatives and is of immense relevance to all healthcare professionals.

Whistleblowers concerns led to Inquiries

Mr Pitman added:

It is critical to realise that the common thread across these Inquiries is the important role played by whistleblowers, either healthcare professionals, patients, or grieving relatives who were responsible for raising concerns, commonly at significant personal and professional detriment, which led to the commissioning of these Inquiries.

Professor Dacre’s sentinel report enforces our group’s founding belief that the manner by which whistleblowers, both in the NHS and other professions, are handled, investigated and frequently subsequently mistreated and victimised, requires urgent review.

NHSWB hope that this report, the impending Heath and Social Care Committee Inquiry into NHS leadership, performance, patient safety, culture and whistleblowing, and the Thirlwall Inquiry will achieve significant and deliverable change in this critical area, which we believe will have a demonstrable, rapid and significant positive effect on patient and NHS staff safety.


On this page

NHS Whistleblowers group says report highlighting Government’s ‘lack of progress’ on various patient safety Inquiry recommendations is ‘gravely concerning’

Start my claim