The health service needs whistleblowers

Alan Milburn became Health minister in 1997, soon after he wrote to employers across the National Health Service telling them that staff must have maximum freedom of speech without fear of victimisation. Two years later, a piece of legislation gave legal protection and uncapped compensation to whistleblowers in Britain. Since then, the NHS has fought hard to introduce a culture that encourages staff to whistleblow. But as ever with our health service, the outcomes do not always match the intentions