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British Poll Says Nurses Are More Reluctant Than Ever to Report Abuse

National Health Service

A recent survey by Britain’s Royal College of Nursing revealed that NHS (National Health Service) nurses are more unlikely than ever to report wrongdoing.

The survey, which polled more than 3,000 nurses across the U.K., said more than a third (34 percent), had been told not to speak up. Only two years ago, in 2009, 21 percent said they’d been pressured into silence.

A whopping 73 percent of nurses said managers had been the ones to stop them from blowing the whistle. 84 percent of nurses worried that the whistle blowing would have a negative effect on their career.

The NHS has come under fire recently after a series of critical reports emerged about the quality of elder care in the U.K. The latest, by the influential healthcare charity The Patients Association, said that patients were frequently left “starving, thirsty and in pain.”

“In the 21st century, in one of the most developed countries and health systems in the world, patients should not be….forced to urinate or defecate in their bed,” said the November report. “Yet this is what’s happening around the country every day.”

The Patients Association has been one of the biggest advocates for stricter whistleblower laws.

“Nurses need to raise their concerns if they see care that is unacceptable” said Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association. “They should not be in a situation where they are afraid to because of worries about reprisals.”

The Patients Association says that it’s seen a 37 percent increase in calls regarding poor elderly care since January 2011.


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