A six-month review of the NHS Scotland Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Line also revealed that health workers had concerns about a breach of govern
A six-month review of the NHS Scotland Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Line also revealed that health workers had concerns about a breach of government social distancing guidelines in health settings and incorrect classification of individuals as “key workers” as well as the lack of PPE. The line allows Scottish NHS workers to express concerns about their workplace anonymously.
The review report said that during the six-month period between November 2019 and April 2020, the line which is run by charity Protect received 91 calls from concerned individuals.
The report said that 30 people confirmed they worked for NHS Scotland and raised a “public interest or whistleblowing concern” where the interests of others, colleagues, the public or the organisation itself “were at risk”.
The report added: “COVID-19 related issues were the predominant concerns raised with the alert line which is to be expected given the current climate and the nature of work NHS Scotland workers undertake.”
MSP Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s Health spokesman has expressed concerns about issues with PPE, one of the main areas of concern.
Speaking in Holyrood, she said: “Inadequate PPE and a lack of testing has been scandalous.
“Front line health and social care staff, and the people they care for, should never be put in danger.
“Scottish ministers must be held to account.”
She stressed that Scottish Labour has “raised these concerns repeatedly, only to be told the government had the situation in hand”.
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The face coverings, therefore, had to be destroyed after they were found to be a health hazard.
In response to the concerns, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “All staff working for our health service must have the confidence to speak up where they have concerns and be fully supported when doing so and it is welcomed that since the previous Protect report, we have seen an increase in the number of callers who said that their concerns were actively under investigation.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained in constant dialogue with NHS Employers and staff-side partners.
“We have taken decisive action to respond to concerns raised including strengthening and expanding PPE supplies, proactively addressing queries about PPE provision and usage, and developing new guidance for the service in partnership.
“We continue to work with the service to address any operational concerns as they arise.”