Friday, 2 December 2016
Edna's Law - Petition
Could I please ask those reading this article to sign the petition below?
Edna’s Law -
Edna was a defenceless elderly lady who died after terrible abuse in a BUPA care home even though it had been reported by no less than SEVEN care workers to Des Kelly.
He was not at arm’s length, he was directly involved as the decision maker and the whistleblowers gave him personally the evidence in a formal meeting with the prescribed regulator under PIDA. Des Kelly also heard it afterwards in a court as he sat through every day of the employment tribunal of the BUPA7, as they became known.
He rose to become "Sir Des Kelly OBE" and an advisor to the Government and CQC on elderly care, and head of the National Care Forum and on DEMOS.
We often refer to him because all the evidence is available on what he did, there is no "grey area" or room for interpretation, it is all documented fact in the public domain.
He is just one of many wrongdoers who have never been held accountable for their actions and now hold senior positions - this is at the root of why whistleblowers are still victimised or ignored, because wrongdoers like Des Kelly escape accountability.
The BUPA7 lost their jobs but the wrongdoing was not put right, the abusers continued abusing, and Edna died.
Four years later it was revealed that people had continued to suffer in that home.
Imagine how much preventable suffering that was.
Failures in legal protection demonstrated by the BUPA7 case left a toxic legacy, because it told BUPA and other employers that they could get away with ignoring concerns and victimising whistleblowers
in spite of the Public Interest Disclosure Act which had just come in at that time. This sent a strong message to other workers to stay silent for fear of ending up unemployed like the BUPA7.
PIDA failed the BUPA7 and it still fails today's whistleblowers. Employment tribunals hear PIDA cases but have no power to make sure problems are put right - so whistle-blowers lose their jobs and still the wrongdoing and risks they reported continue unchecked.
The 2015 Francis Review and the new National Guardian will do nothing to protect whistle-blowers or encourage anyone else to raise concerns because the recommendations rely on policies, procedures, employers and regulators – which include the very same people who have “got away with” cover-ups, ignoring concerns, and victimising whistle-blowers for many years.
The Francis "Freedom to Speak Up" review in 2015 was an expensive public relations sham, and held no wrongdoers to account.
We say it never intended to and here is why: Robert Francis is on the CQC, which has invited Des Kelly's input even though Des Kelly had ignored seven whistleblowers and had deliberately put an abuser in at least three BUPA care homes.
The CQC has ignored multiple whistle-blowers, e.g. the abuse at Winterbourne View and Old Deanery, and many more.
Is that so surprising when they have included in their press releases a significant contribution from Des Kelly, a man who could have prevented Edna’s death but chose not to? Instead he deliberately gave Edna’s worst abuser access to other defenceless people to torment.
Compassion In Care and Private Eye joint investigations have proved that the CQC lied and misled the public for many years but no-one was held accountable.
The CQC falsely claimed it had closed 100 care homes, an outright lie as it was only two. They have been complicit in re-registering care homes as "new" under slightly different names, but the same ownership, in order to hide bad inspection reports.
Now the supposedly "independent" new National Guardian for the NHS is to be overseen by.....you guessed it......the CQC.
It's like the story of The Emperor's New Clothes - the evidence, in this case of wrongdoing and complicity, is there in plain sight for all to see, but most are scared to point it out or just can't believe what they see.
But Robert Francis and many others in Parliament and the care sector know it is true because we have presented the evidence. Many are "Guilty by Association", because by praising and harbouring wrongdoers, they are complicit in the wrongdoing.
This isn't a fairy story. People are suffering right now so we're speaking up loud and clear that Edna's Law is needed to protect the public.
Whistleblowing helplines paid for by employers can never be independent - they protect the employer, not the employee because they make their income by selling policies and procedures to employers so their loyalty is to their customer.
After Mid-Staffs, Robert Francis spoke a lot about "changing the culture" but clearly it didn't work, because he was shocked by how many people told him they still felt unable to speak up. Many trusted the Francis Review and hoped it would be a turning point. But as whistle-blowers, we have already been failed by his “policies and procedures“ and “Guardian” approach. We have been contacted by people in roles designated "whistleblower supporter" who then lost their own job after reporting concerns themselves.
We know it doesn't work, it has never worked before and it can never work in future. We don't need any more expensive hot air about "changing the culture" - we need to change the reality and bring in Edna's Law.
More than 900 callers rang Eileen's helpline after BBC Panorama "Behind Closed Doors" Thousands more calls/emails have come in since the Francis Review. Many of these whistleblowers still experience lasting detriment, so cannot put their names publicly to the petition yet, though many have left public comments on the petition which shows how widespread this is.
You might ask "Why didn't they just speak up in their workplace?" But how can we expect workers to report wrongdoing when they have seen what happens to those who do? Would you?
Please help us break the shameful silence and ensure accountability – by signing Edna’s Law now.