STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has called for the government to look at the protection offered to whistleblowers, after a case involving a former NHS worker from Hyde.
Mr Reynolds believes that the protection of whistleblowers is important, particularly in the NHS– if patients are to be protected for incompetent or malicious acts by healthworkers.
He says the need for protection has particular resonance in the constituency, because of the role so-called ‘whistle blowing’ had in the uncovering the murders of GP Harold Shipman.
However a recent case heard in the Court of Appeal has determined that employers are not required to protect whistleblowers from harassment from colleagues.
Now Mr Reynolds has asked the leader of the House, Sir George Young, for an assurance that the Government will look at the protection offered to whistleblowers.
During Business Questions he asked Sir George Young: May we have a statement from the Government on the protections given to whistleblowers?
"This is a particularly emotive subject in my constituency, as a result of the legacy of the Harold Shipman murders and the crucial role that whistle blowing played in bringing him to justice.
"A ruling in the Court of Appeal last month, however, to the effect that employers cannot be held responsible for incriminatory acts by the fellow employees of another of my constituents, has some people worried that the protections that we give to whistleblowers are not vigorous enough.
"Will the Leader of the House raise that issue with his colleagues in the Ministry of Justice and, perhaps, arrange a meeting between me and one of those Ministers to discuss it further?"
In response Sir George Young said he would raise the issue with the Lord Chancellor, in order to determine whether the Government needed to take any remedial action.
He said: "The hon gentleman makes a serious point, and there should not be the deterrent, which he implies, preventing people from coming forward and reporting malpractice, injustice or, even, criminal activities.
"Of course I will raise with the Lord Chancellor the concern that the hon gentleman has expressed following that decision of the courts, and I will see whether the Government need to take any remedial action."
Published 13 December, 2011