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Paterson Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:53 pm, 4th February 2020

I would like to make an apology. I mentioned the CQC in response to Dr Whitford—the acronyms!—but it was the GMC.

My right hon. and learned Friend is absolutely right. I reiterate that Paterson is in jail, and that the processes now in the regulatory framework did not exist at the time Paterson was practising. The culture towards whistleblowers is very different now from what it was then, as demonstrated by the roll-out of the national guardians scheme. The national guardians are there for whistleblowers to go to. We want—we absolutely want—people to report when they think somebody is acting inappropriately, or a surgeon or doctor is not practising to the standards they should be. We want to know that as soon as possible. There will be no investigations of whistleblowers’ fitness to practise; that will apply to the people they are reporting. I do not think the national guardians scheme has had enough press or that people are aware enough of it. It is about speaking up, listening and then the trust acting on the information it has. One of the outcomes of this report will be that we can reassure both healthcare professionals and the public that we want them to speak up. We actually want them to be a whistleblower because only by doing that can we guarantee patient safety.