Hancock pledges end to non-disclosure agreements

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has vowed to end the use of non-disclosure agreements that currently prevent possible whistleblowers in the NHS from speaking out.

Following growing concern about the use of such agreements to silence staff across a range of sectors, Hancock said that he wanted to ensure that workers feel they can ‘put their head above the parapet’, stating that settlement agreements that infringe on people’s rights to voice concerns were ‘completely inappropriate’.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Hancock said: “We stand with whistleblowers. Making someone choose between the job they love and speaking the truth to keep patients safe is an injustice I am determined to end. Settlement agreements that infringe on an individual’s right to speak out for the benefit of patients are completely inappropriate. Whistleblowers perform a vital and courageous service for the NHS and I want more people to feel they can put their head above the parapet. But they must have a safe, open culture to do this in order to achieve the ambitions set out in the long-term plan and make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.”

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