Ian Patterson and Heartlands Hospital (The Kennedy Review)
Professor Kennedy's report into the practice of Ian Patterson at Heartlands Hospital has just been released. It is a good report and demonstrates how confidentiality can at times be used to protect the interests of the powerful.
The problem is a more general culture of the Health Service to cover things up rather than resolve issues.
I have two cases at Heartlands Hospital where whistle-blowers have found themselves subject to disciplinary action. I have raised these with the hospital, but am unhappy with the response from the hospital. The whistleblowing does not relate to the care of patients, but the same principles apply.
From his report:
14.36 It is wrong, as well as pointless, to seek to control the flow of information to outside
bodies so as to contain the impact of any particular event or set of circumstances. It
prevents others from taking appropriate measures. It ensures that partial information
will emerge in an unsystematic manner, thereby damaging patients and the Trust
much more than would be the case with full, open communication. And, most
important, it is a breach of trust.