New protections for NHS whistleblowers
Jeremy Hunt is to announce new legal protections for NHS whistleblowers and the creation of an independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch that will provide a “safe space” to investigate hospital mistakes. He will also say that from April 2018, all hospital deaths will be independently reviewed. The new body will be given legal powers to keep revelations secret. “What they say cannot be disclosed except by a court order. It cannot be used by the GMC, it cannot be used in a disciplinary proceeding, it can’t be used in legal action unless there’s a court order,” Mr Hunt told the Times. “There’s no hiding place for gross negligence but if you just make a human mistake we need to learn from it.” Local hospital investigators could also be granted powers to offer immunity under new legislation, Mr Hunt said.
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