"We encourage whistleblowing" say Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust
Gagging clauses preventing hundreds of NHS whistleblowers from speaking out are to be outlawed in an attempt to stop any repeat of the Mid-Staffordshire Trust scandal.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last week that creating a culture of "openness and transparency" across the NHS is vital.
"We need a culture of openness and transparency if we are going to stop another Mid Staffs from happening," he said.
"The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end."
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The whistleblowing policy at the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently under review.
Trust bosses insist gagging clauses preventing former staff from speaking out are banned.
A spokesman said: "We do not use 'gagging' clauses to prevent former employees from speaking out about anything considered to be in the public interest or the interest of our patients. We actively encourage our staff to tell us when there is a problem, particularly in relation to the safety of patients, and concerns are taken seriously."
Existing NHS whistle blowing policies in Gloucestershire say safety should be at the heart of all care and staff have a legal right to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or other wrongdoings - without suffering any detriment.
The ambulance service provider for Gloucestershire, the South West Ambulance Service Trust, also encourages staff to report concerns through its whistle blowing policy and its 'datix' incident report system.
Unison branch officer at the Trust, Shane Clark, said: " UNISON aims to work in partnership with management to improve the NHS for staff and its patients.
"Of course, unions often disagree with management on a wide variety of issues.
"However there is one common factor that crops up in any industrial dispute - lack of transparency and cooperation.
"These principles are vital for NHS organisations to have a good relationship with staff and patients."