Madam, – Working at the coalface of healthcare/homelessness since mid 1970s, we in Trust and many others working in the field have been gravely concerned about whistleblowers’ protection.
Addressing the Institute of Community Health Nursing in Cork in 2005, we called for “legislation to be put in place to protect their right to act as advocates in defence of patients and the most vulnerable. Nurses and frontline care workers must have confidence to defend the most vulnerable and society must support them in that role, they must resist being treated as invisible because they work with society’s invisible people”.
In June 2009, I formally raised our concerns with Irish Human Rights Commission and on March 18th, 2010, my letter, entitled “Afraid to speak out and challenge” was published in The Irish Times and could be re-published in its entirety now, as the same concerns remain.
Recent events highlight once again the vulnerability of many elderly people. It is up to all of us, particularly those in a position of responsibility, to act with urgency and ensure that people working at the coalface are not again sidelined and more importantly, by extension, those in their care. If our political masters fail to act now, how will history judge us? – Yours, etc,
Bride Road, Dublin 8.