NHS trust searches for whistleblower

The bosses at a hospital in West Suffolk have been accused of conducting a “witch-hunt” after a whistleblower raised concerns surrounding the reporting of patient safety incidents.

It has been alleged there have been instances of senior doctors being bullied and intimidated. It has been reported that complaints of harassment have been made after bosses at West Suffolk Hospital, managed by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, demanded the staff allow themselves to be fingerprinted in an effort to identify a whistleblower.

Staff were told they did not have to submit to being fingerprinted, but a failure to do so would be considered as being an act that would implicate them at the whistleblower.

The whistleblower reported concerns of errors in a surgical procedure in 2018 which resulted in the death of the patient five weeks after the operation.

Staff at the hospital are angered and have accused the trust of denying them the freedom of speech that has been lauded since the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

A spokeswoman for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Any allegations of bullying are taken extremely seriously and are thoroughly and urgently investigated, which is one of the reasons why we are among the top five NHS trusts in the country for having engaged, happy, and empowered staff.”

Questions have been raised over the CBE given to the trust’s Chief Executive for services to health and patient safety, given the trust’s alleged search for a whistleblower on patient safety.

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