A group of whistleblowers including nurses, doctors and managers plans to challenge the government over the level of protection provided to staff who raise concerns.
The Patients First group is spearheaded by Dr Kim Holt, the paediatrician who raised concerns about the clinic where Baby P was seen before he died.
As part of its campaign, the group has instructed lawyers to explore the possibility of launching a judicial review of policies and guidance designed to protect whistleblowers.
Ministers announced plans last month to incorporate a requirement for employers to protect staff who whistleblow into the NHS constitution. The changes are due to come into effect next year. But the group claims the move will be ineffective, because the constitution does not currently provide legal rights.
Practice nurse Loo Blackburn told Nursing Times she supported the Patients First campaign and wanted nurses “not to consider it brave to raise concerns, but an obligatory role without any fear of victimisation”.
She raised concerns about a GP in Oxford, after finding hundreds of unread blood test results and trays of unactioned referral letters when she began working at his practice. She is in the middle of a constructive dismissal dispute with NHS Oxfordshire relating to the case.
As reported last week, the charity Public Concern at Work also wants the government to provide greater protection to whistleblowers from harassment by colleagues.