Health service employers will have to pledge to support whistleblowers, under proposed changes to the NHS constitution announced ahead of the latest inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
The amendments, outlined last week by health secretary Andrew Lansley, also state that staff have a legal right to raise concerns without “suffering any detriment” and are expected to raise any concerns “as early as possible”.
The first hearing of the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry will take place on 8 November.
Mr Lansley said a “culture of fear and secrecy had pervaded” at the trust, which had left its staff “feeling unable to raise concerns”.
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