Doctors’ fears

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It was the National Audit Office which first claimed that government ministers must hold NHS managers to account if whistleblowers suffer for voicing their concerns.

In England, action has been taken both to strengthen the NHS constitution and to set up a helpline to support staff wishing to highlight failures within the organisation.

North of the Border things are very different, with Alex Salmond insulting our intelligence by claiming that NHS Lothian has not been trying to gag Dr Jane Hamilton.

Even if the terms of reference it gave to Dr Margaret Oates’ inquiry did not result in a whitewash, they certainly excluded Dr Hamilton’s concerns and those of other staff.

And what could be more indicative of a problem than four out of five hospital medics and two-thirds of GPs saying they have colleagues they would not wish to treat their families.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews