Some of you may have seen this article on the BBC website today:
When the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 was drafted, it was widely understood that its primary purpose was to protect whistleblowers in the health sector and in the financial services sector. In short, there was a public interest in having disclosures made in these sectors.
However, in the years since the Act, its application has pervaded into all sectors. The definition of ‘disclosure’ has been widely defined and the circumstances in which a disclosure can be made are not restrictive, with the burden of demonstrating bad faith resting on the employer.
Todays news highlights a postive duty on medical professionals to disclose wrongdoing when they see it. I am aware that some bodies (e.g the GMC) may view this as a regulatory requirement on Doctors. An interesting aspect will be the extent to which the medical profession generally will be prepared to create (and enforce) a contctual or otherwise defined duty to postively disclose information that relates to wrongdoing.