Whistleblowing campaigners slam use of 'gagging clauses' by East Lancashire Hospitals (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Whistleblowing campaigners slam use of 'gagging clauses' by East Lancashire Hospitals
11:57am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
WHISTLEBLOWING campaigners have slammed the use of ‘gagging clauses’ by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Last month, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that almost 100 NHS workers who left the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General had signed clauses which banned them from criticising the hospitals and their bosses.
The ‘compromise agreements’ were drawn up under a voluntary severance scheme, where staff received payments averaging £20,000 each.
Trust bosses insisted the clause does not prevent concerns being voiced, as the agreements allow staff to ‘whistleblow’ through official channels.
But Andrew Bousfield, of the Medical Harm website, said the ‘initimidating’ clauses were intended to scare the worker, despite the ‘legalistic qualifier’ included in the agreement.
He added: “Whilst legal advice should be taken, most people are scared by the agreement, and will lose the full money and legal fees if they speak out.”
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