Why are Whistleblowers Still Being Failed?

    Friday 27 June 2014
    Sassoon Beer Room at the Free Word Centre, London

    LONDON, 10 June 2014 The Whistler, an umbrella group of organisations providing support for whistleblowers, has announced a discussion on PIDA law which will take place on 27 June 2014 from 2pm-4pm at the Free Word Centre, London.  

    The Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998 (PIDA) came into force following a number of major disasters and scandals of the previous decade. Introduced by Richard Shepherd MP, the Act was aimed at protecting “workers” making disclosures on matters in the public interest.

    “Almost all official inquiries report that workers had seen the dangers, but either had been too scared to sound the alarm, or had raised the matter with the wrong person or in the wrong way,” Mr Shepherd said, when introducing the bill.

    Since then, experts have hailed it as the “ultimate protection for whistleblowers”.

    But why is it still failing to protect whistleblowers?

    Public Concern at Work (PCAW), an industry supported whistleblowing advisory service established in 1993, was closely involved in drafting of the PIDA. It continues to support PIDA at the expense of whistleblowers, despite many who were angered at being let down by PCAW as they were seeking help. Some were told to get on with their lives or let the process take its course.

    Eileen Chubb, founder of The Whistler and founder/director of Compassion in Care, said that any law that says you should consider the consequences before speaking out is a sorry excuse for justice:

    “What’s worse than no legal protection? A law that promises protection but fails to deliver it.

    “A law that was written for policies and procedures but is useless in court.

    “People’s lives are being ruined for the crime of doing the right thing.”

    Dr. Kim Holt, Ian Perkin and Alyson O’Connell will join Eileen to discuss the ineffectiveness of the current law and PCAW.

    All speakers will be available to take questions at the event.

    We are inviting the press to attend this event. Please RSVP to Magdalena Gawlicka at magdalena@tcij.org or book your place/s online.

    Notes for Editors:

    Contact:

    Magdalena Gawlicka 07702 052 321; magdalena@tcij.org

    Gavin MacFadyen 07740 304 570; gavin@tcij.org

    Dr Kim Holt was a senior doctor at St Ann’s Hospital in London before she was dismissed for raising concerns about unsafe hospital practices during Baby Peter abuse scandal. After losing her job, Dr Holt set up a lobby group that aims to improve patient safety.

    Ian Perkin was a director of finance at St George’s Hospital before he was dismissed in 2002 for blowing a whistle on operation cancellation figures that had been falsified to meet NHS standards.

    Alyson O’Connell was a nurse at Blaenau Gwent in Wales who lost her job with the Rapid Response Team after blowing the whistle on poor standards of patient care under the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.