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M3 Explain why whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned should be protected.

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Introduction

M3 explain why whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned should be protected Introduction Health and social care is regulated by organisations such as the Care Quality Commission, Health Care Professions Council and Ofsted. However, endless reports of poor care indicate that on its own formal regulation is not enough in preventing abuse from happening. Another form of regulation is known as irregular regulation and this predominantly refers to the practice of whistleblowing. Whistleblowing is where an employee makes a disclosure to either their employer or a regulatory body and in some cases a wider disclosure is made, for instance to the press. Whistleblowing has far reaching ramifications for both the person who is accused and the whistleblower. This essay explores these issues and explains why whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned should be protected. Section Since the Jimmy Savile story broke in 2011, allegations of both current and historic child abuse seem never ending. When the Savile scandal first came to light many people asked why it had not been reported at the time and how it could had taken place in some of Britain?s most famous public institutions. Investigations into the Jimmy Savile scandal highlighted just how difficult it can be for staff and the victims to make a disclosure (BBC News, 2012). ...read more.

Middle

All health and social care codes have the general principle that service users should not be harmed, and that professionals should speak up if they see harm happening (Mandelstam 2013, p 202). Consequently, any professional who knowingly fails to report abuse will face disciplinary action and could even lose their professional registration. This is important if there is to be a change in culture where managers do not try to cover up wrongdoings in their organisation and actively encourage their employees to be diligent in reporting any wrongdoings. One positive step to support whistleblowers has been the passing of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which protects whistleblowers in certain circumstances (Mandelstam, 2013 p 272). Following the law and proper procedures is also important for the protection of a person who has had an allegation made against them. This essay now explains why it is just as important to protect the person whose practice or behaviour is being questioned. Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights is the right to a fair hearing. This is an absolute right and includes the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. It is important to apply this principle in the workplace as it is fundamental to democracy itself. A system which does not follow this principle is not only breaking the law but, moreover, setting a bad example to the workforce. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, high profile examples of child care workers who have blown the whistle and suffered negative consequences mean others are reluctant to put their head above the parapet. Many decide to leave their post rather than blow the whistle, leading to a higher turnover of staff and recurring problems. One worker explained ?Social workers aren?t whistleblowing because the systems don?t support them. We are supposed to be the voice of people that are marginalised but if we cannot find our own voice about concerns we have within the organisations that we work for, how can we be the voice for families and children?? (Hawser, 2012). Despite the existence of laws designed to protect those who speak out against malpractice whistleblowers still risk their careers by doing the right thing. On the one hand professionals are bound by their professional code of practice to protect service users, but on the other employers use the unspoken threat of personal and professional ruin to keep them quiet. If the most vulnerable in society are to be protected then listening to staff?s concerns should be a fundamental part of organisation. Pile stresses that all employers should publicly vow to protect whistleblowers from victimisation. ?It should come from the top, from council leaders or the board of trustees, and it should be said on a regular basis,? she says, adding: ?It?s about demonstrating to the workforce that employers understand the importance of people being able to raise concerns ? and that they welcome it.? (Hawser, 2012). ...read more.

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