Thursday, 9 January 2014

Herald articles today about whistle-blowing psychiatrist and NHS phone helpline going nowhere

In today's Herald there are two articles about psychiatrist Dr Jane Hamilton who claims she has been victimised after raising concerns over the safety of the specialist psychiatric Mother And Baby Unit at St John's Hospital, Livingston:

Doctor risks sack by going public over whistle-blowing
and 
Couple's shock after Herald revealed doctor's concerns

In the second piece it says:

"The Scottish Government also introduced a confidential alert line for NHS whistle-blowers, last April. Dr Hamilton phoned it, but it simply referred her back to the health board. So there is still concern. 

Rab Wilson, the former psychiatric nurse who exposed errors surrounding the deaths of 20 patients in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, is not convinced by the confidential line.

He said: "From what I have heard, anyone who phones up usually finds they are referred back to their employer. It's a bit like Mrs Hen phoning up to complain her chicks are being eaten by foxes raiding the coop, and she gets referred on to Mr Fox." 

He has now lodged a petition at the Scottish Parliament that seeks to further protect NHS whistle-blowers and ensure gagging orders are truly ended."

I'm not surprised that the helpline goes nowhere as it's just like NHS Fife complaints processes which in my experience are pointless and useless at dealing with human rights abuses in psychiatric settings and the bullying and intimidation of carers and mothers.  And a Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland which is a watchdog with no teeth and responds to carers in distress by telling them to Talk to the Hand 

Huh.  So much for human rights in Scotland.  It doesn't seem to apply in psychiatric circumstances or for people who have been labelled with a mental disorder.  And even the phonelines for NHS psychiatrists who want to highlight issues are like chocolate teapots or pointless endeavours.

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