Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Inquiry)
Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister
Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour)
It is quite clear that the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which was supposed to encourage and protect whistleblowing, has failed in this case when faced with the culture of the NHS. On the lessons that could be learned, the Health Committee published a report in 2009 on patient safety and recommended that the Government should look at how whistleblowing was handled around the world, particularly in New Zealand. There, it is handled by an independent person, who carries out the inquiry, often anonymously from the complainant, and gets a far better reaction from institutions that we do here in the United Kingdom.
David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
The right hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point about whistleblowers and how we handle them, and I am sure that Health Ministers will listen to that. I just make the point that supporting whistleblowers is one thing, but we also have to respond to what is being said. There were whistleblowers in the case of the Stafford hospital, but the problem was that the response to the complaints, the campaigns and the whistleblowing was completely inadequate.
How about we all move to New Zealand ?