Blowing the whistle
Raising concerns about colleagues or policies and procedures in the workplace is often crucial for safeguarding patient safety, yet understandably there are concerns over being viewed as untrustworthy and disloyal to one’s peers. Whistleblowing can be a lonely endeavour.
“We have tried over the years to take a non-punitive approach to anyone bringing their concerns to us,” says Yearwood. “People need to know they will be protected when raising concerns and our stance has made people more open and honest.
“It is a small community in the Cayman Islands; everyone knows everybody or is related in some way. It is important for healthcare staff to know they can bring their concerns to us and that we will deal with them seriously and confidentially.”
“A question we get asked frequently is how protected are the conversations in case reviews,” says Mrs Dilbert. “What happens if someone finds out what has been discussed, say by way of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request? While there is some protection in the FOI Law for these kinds of discussions, the FOI Law also seeks to ‘promote greater public understanding of the processes or decisions of public authorities’; therefore, there remains some uncertainty over the disclosure of the details of quality assurance reviews. So that remains a concern, even though everyone recognises it’s important to speak openly about what has happened.”