I am honoured to be asked to undertake this review for the Secretary of State for Health. Those who speak up when things go wrong in the NHS should be welcomed for the information they bring and the contribution they can make to patient safety and the maintenance of public confidence in the service. Any NHS workers who believe they have information of this nature should feel they can fulfil their duty by speaking up without fear of reprisals or victimisation. Therefore I welcome the chance to look at the obstacles which many fear exist to prevent this happening; to identify measures that can be taken in the NHS to remove them; and to enable information offered in the public interest to be used effectively. Equally where those brave enough to speak out say they have been victimised, I would like to look at what more can be done in future to remedy the wrongs that are done.
I very much hope that all those with ideas on how to create and maintain a culture of openness and honesty in the NHS will offer them to this review. I look forward to engaging with NHS workers, as well as representative organisations both within and outside the NHS to help me with this work.
This Review is not about deciding on past judgements and I realise that I am asking something quite difficult of people; that they tell me about their personal experiences of making disclosures in the public interest without me being able to do anything to resolve their individual cases. Nonetheless I hope that people will come forward to the Review and share their views and experiences in order to help inform better practice in the future.