Fenner Brockway was a man prepared to meet the personal cost of speaking out to uphold personal principles and 2015 will mark 30 years since his death. In the UK, today, the appalling treatment of NHS whistleblowers is in the news. I know from personal experience that this is the tip of the iceberg, hiding the much wider scale of staff abuse within the so-called ‘care industry’.
From my own perspective, voicing concerns comes from a conscious willingness to hold to account those who make promises without ever having any honest intention of meeting them, combined with an innate, autistic naive belief that they really want to hear constructive criticism and make things right.
Management teams are often supported by systems designed to help them maintain the pretence that all is as it should be while the vulnerable they are charged with protecting are left bereft at the realisation that those they trusted will silence their concerns. It can take a while to make that discovery and for the most vulnerable, it may never happen.
So, if these management teams are so proud of their work, they will have no fear of staff approaching them with concerns about common practices and staff will have no fear of fulfilling their duty in reporting these concerns. Grievance procedures will be followed with integrity and monitored by an independent observer and local politics will play no part in proceedings. Continue reading