Backbench Business - Whistleblowingbackbench Business

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 3rd July 2019.

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Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley 4:26 pm, 3rd July 2019

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way and am sorry that I was not here at the start of the debate. Some time ago—I think when the right hon. Gentleman was at the Department of Health—I was the co-author of a review of the NHS hospitals complaints system. One reason why we were not more forceful on the point he is making was that we thought legislation was in the pipeline, or that there was an attempt to put things right for potential whistleblowers.

I am still concerned. In my own local authority area, Rhondda Cynon Taf, the Cwm Taf health authority has just been heavily criticised for maternity deaths. One of the people involved got in touch with me anonymously. I did not know what to do with the letter—I did not want to pass it to the authorities—so I passed it to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which was at that time completing a report on the Cwm Taf health authority. It is still a major problem and people are afraid. Even when they think there is greater understanding and leeway, people are afraid. We have to put that right.