Alastair Tulloch Whistleblowing
Every job requires a level of professionalism and while responsibilities will vary, there are certain standards that we are all held to in our respective roles. When it comes to working with people, however, there is an enhanced expectation of care and responsibility that workers in these industries need to adhere to.
For the most part, those who are given these responsibilities will live up to the requirements of their role and may often exceed them. However, what happens when peoples’ behaviour falls well short of what is required? We all want to believe that our teachers, doctors, nurses or carers will always have our best interests at heart and undoubtedly the vast majority do. But sadly, there are cases where people take advantage of their situation.
People are given responsibilities and it is hoped that the recruitment process has been strong enough to fit the right person into the right job. If it comes to light that they are not and we witness an act of evidence of this, it is both critical and ethical to report it.
For cases where the wrongdoing in question is of public interest and affects other people, the person who reports it is a whistleblower and, as such, protected by law.
The case of staff mistreating patients at Winterbourne View, a residential care home near Bristol, was awful and was a huge knock on public confidence in the care industry. It was not helped by allegations that reports made to Care Quality Commission (CQC), the industry’s governing body, weren’t taken seriously and the abuse was allowed to continue. However, with the help of whistleblowers and an infamous program by Panorama, the case was brought to trial and 11 care workers were sentenced for their part in the tragic events. The program actively encouraged people to speak out about things which they deemed substandard and over 4,300 whistleblowers spoke out over the next 20 months.
Every one of us who works in education or healthcare has a duty of care. It’s vitally important that people feel supported when they are compelled to speak out. Equally, we have a duty not to undermine the public’s confidence in these services, so advice should be sought and considered strongly before allegations are made.
Vetro Recruitment is committed to keeping the quality of the education and healthcare industries high and will always support those who share our goals.