Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Paterson Inquiry

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

The national guardians scheme involves 500 healthcare professionals, who are identified by their lanyards alone to show that they are people to whom whistleblowers can speak both independently and in complete confidence. I think that is important because those people are in the NHS—the private sector has rolled out its own similar system—and people can see them, identify them and act immediately. Sometimes things are left for another time or place, but when people see somebody act inappropriately or in a way they should not, we want to know that they speak out about it immediately.

I will say it again: we want people to speak up, we want trusts and the private sector to listen, and then we want to act. It is the case that we can change this culture and let whistleblowers know that we will protect them. We also have a line at the Department for people to ring in on, because we want to hear from them.[This section has been corrected on 12 February 2020, column 10MC — read correction] There is only one way we can guarantee patient safety, and that is to know where inappropriate practice is taking place so that we can stop it. We absolutely open our door to whistle- blowers, and we want to hear what they have to say.