We welcomed Laura Ramsay and her small group of players from LIPA to our meeting on Monday and they proceeded to take part in small scenarios about Whistle blowing. This seems to be happening more and more, especially in the National Health Service. The first scenario was about a Care Worker who observes bad practices where staff did not put the patient first, the quality of care was missing and the Care Worker went to report this. Management did not wish to know, all they were worried about was meeting targets and keeping within budgets. Another play was about a Hospital worker who sees again dreadful practices and does not speak out as she wants to keep her job, as she has a family to support.
After the scenarios the meeting was split into various groups to discuss what we would do in this situation. We were asked to find who agreed with the Hospital worker and who disagreed. There was a great deal of discussion with some members agreeing that the incidents should have been reported and other members saying that it was best to keep quiet. One of our members spoke to us saying that she had been a nurse and had witnessed bad practices which she reported, but she ended up never being promoted and eventually left her post. She realised that by reporting this incident she was passed over for promotion. She mentioned this when attending a Nursing conference to a NHS official and they said that this just does not happen, if one reports bad practices. We all know that this does happen and we had someone to prove it.
The whole evening prompted lots of discussion and as someone mentioned in the audience professional people should be taught how to complain, especially in the NHS and other official bodies. Another member said that she had been in a similar position and wrote to her MP but it got nowhere. She suggested it was best to get the Press and TV involved and then something would have to happen as large organisations don’t like bad publicity.
The evening ended with a cinema/film quiz which was really good and everyone enjoyed a nice cup of tea and coffee before going home.