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Whistleblowing

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Published on Jan 16, 2014

At one time, whistleblowers in nursing were treated with a great deal of suspicion by their colleagues and employers. In the UK, a famous case from nearly 20 years ago involving a whistleblowing nurse called Graham Pink, appalled at poor standards of care in his workplace, divided nurses and the public alike. Although the actions of Graham Pink were vindicated by the courts—he had been sacked by his employers—doubts have remained about the propriety of whistleblowing; the assumption being that mechanisms exist to protect patients, that these work and they should be used.

Events over the past few years emanating from the Mid-Staffordshire National Health Service Trust in the UK and culminating in the Francis Report demonstrate that mechanisms, existing at the time of the terrible events in Mid-Staffordshire, clearly did not work. Among the many areas investigated for the Francis Report there is praise for named whistleblowers and surprise that more people did not come forward, despite policies designed to protect them.

But what is like to be a whistleblower and what are the ethical implications? In this virtual issue we make available three JAN papers: one from the UK on the ethics of whistleblowing; and two from Australia; one on what nurses who whistleblow think about what their actions will achieve; and one on then experiences of being a whistleblower.


Visit the JAN Virtual Issue page:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journa...

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