Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

NHS whistleblower helpline ‘useless’ campaigner Rab Wilson claims

A CONFIDENTIAL phone line set up to allow NHS workers to report concerns about patient safety and bullying has been branded “useless” by one of the country’s most high-profile whistleblowers.

Rab Wilson, a nurse who uncovered a catalogue of failings at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said he had suggested the measure to Nicola Sturgeon but the initiative had “failed utterly” as it had proved toothless in holding health boards to account. The Scottish Government hit back at the claims, saying its policies allowing health workers to raise concerns were already “robust” and would be strengthened further with the appointment of an independent national whistleblowing officer.

Mr Wilson spoke out after Dr Jane Hamilton, a consultant psychiatrist, revealed that she was retiring after believing that she had become known as a “troublemaker” within the Scottish NHS. She warned bosses that lives were being put at risk at a specialist Mother and Baby Unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston before going public with her fears. Dr Hamilton said that she had been unable to find work north of the Border and that a weekly commute to Yorkshire where she worked for the NHS in England had proved too demanding.

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Rab Wilson, outside the Scottish Parliament

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Mum called NHS 111 helpline 23 times before death

A review has been launched after a woman died at home alone despite repeatedly calling the NHS 111 helpline for assistance. Phone records show Anne Roome called 23 times in the hours before she died, although it is not clear how many times she got through to an adviser. 111 advisers can arrange ambulances in emergencies, but they did not send one to the 68-year-old’s home in Derby. Derbyshire Health United said the circumstances were “unfortunate”.

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Tell us about your care – Care Quality Commission announces new partnership with The Silver Line

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is today marking the launch of a new partnership with The Silver Line helpline to help reach out to even more elderly people who are cared for in their homes and in residential care.  The partnership comes on the same day as The Silver Line celebrates its one-year anniversary as the national free, confidential 24/7 helpline offering information, friendship and advice for older people who may live alone. Since it began last November, The Silver Line has received 275,000 calls, with more than half the callers telling the helpline they had nobody else to talk to. Through CQC’s ‘tell us about your care’ partnership, anyone can share their concerns – and anonymously if preferred – if they feel they are not being listened to, or might not feel able to speak directly to those responsible for delivering safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led services that CQC expects.

Click on the link to read the News release


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