The Health Select Committee and whistleblowers.

On Tuesday 19 March 2013, the Health Select Committee of which Valerie Vaz MP, is a member heard evidence from Gary Walker, former Chief Executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and David Bowles, former Chair of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. This session was a continuation of the Select Committee’s inquiry into the Francis Report on the failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Valerie said:

“I asked Mr Walker whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 was significant for NHS whistleblowers. Mr Walker answered that the intention of the act is not being delivered in the real world. He also feels that the Act should not be needed, and that concerns should be able to be raised and acted on.”

“Under the Act, whistleblowers providing “information” are protected under the Act whereas those making “allegations” are not. I asked Mr Walker whether he was raising information or allegations. Mr Walker said that some was information, and some were allegations, but that patients would come to harm if the practises continued.”

The Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry by Robert Francis QC can be found here: