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Below is the content of the email sent out to employees on 02/05/21
TO ALL CURRENT AND EX-STAFF OF RHODES WOOD HOSPITAL
We are a group of ex-patients and parents who are extremely concerned about serious failings at Rhodes Wood Hospital and are considering a variety of legal and other actions against the hospital.
This notice comes to bring you information that is extremely important to you as an employee. Please read it in full.
1. Are you aware that for many employees at Rhodes Wood, including doctors and nurses, it is your legal responsibility to report to the CQC or other authority any safeguarding or other failures and risks you see at RWH? Reporting such infractions is called whistleblowing and it’s not something that you have an option on doing. You are failing in your moral duty towards patients, and breaking the law, if you do not report such matters.
2. Whistleblowing is protected by law: The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998 provides protection to “workers” making disclosures in the public interest and allows such individuals to claim compensation for victimisation following such disclosures. If your employer does come to know about your whistleblowing actions they cannot let this adversely affect your employment i.e. they cannot take it out on you.
3. There are a wide range of matters you can report on, it’s not just safeguarding failures. Whistleblowing also covers a report you may file when someone’s health or safety is at risk (or likely to be at risk). It even covers situations where a colleague is covering up some such risk. Do you know of any such occasion/s at RWH? It is your legal duty to report it.
4. What if you’ve got less than 2 years’ service? Normally, the law makes it easier to terminate the contract of an employee who has less than two years’ service. However, if you’re a known whistleblower, Elysium can’t terminate your services easily and you obtain the equivalent of “protected characteristics”. From here: “…where there is a valid whistleblowing claim, length of service is not a bar to bringing a claim in an Employment Tribunal and there is no statutory cap on damages that can be awarded, as there is in ordinary unfair dismissal cases”.
5. If your employer does terminate your service for whistleblowing, you can claim financial compensation. There are several examples online of whistleblowers who have won hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for just this. You can get a higher compensation award if you are dismissed after whistleblowing than before. With whistleblowing compensation claims, there is no maximum limit to the award! In the case of Small v Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, an agency worker was awarded £54,126 when he blew the whistle after two months working at the trust.
6. Employees can claim under unfair dismissal, but what if you’re an agency worker? You can make a detriment claim instead (including “for being given harder or mundane work; demeaning or humiliating comments being made; insignificant issues about conduct being unduly highlighted; the way in which grievances and disciplinary issues are handled so the employer is not taking them seriously” etc).
7. You can take your complaint to the CQC, but you cannot post it online in social media or blogs. However, the CQC is not the only place you can report these things. You could also, in some cases, report them elsewhere, even to the press (however, you do need to be careful to not violate patient confidentiality when disclosing to the press). The CQC do, however, have a useful PDF guide to whistleblowing. Note that the CQC cannot provide you legal advice nor assist with an employment tribunal. But we can provide this help for free (see details at the end of this email).
Have you been a victim of bullying, intimidation, discrimination of any kind by your employers or colleagues at Rhodes Wood Hospital? Have you been witness to your employers breaking the law? Are you aware of other employees/colleagues/management who have not followed the rule book and/or put patients at risk? You have a legal duty to report a wide range of incidents.
Elysium have already lost at least one case when a whistle blowing employee suffered “detriment” i.e. the hospital treated him differently for having made a complaint. The law gives you a lot of protection as a whistle blower.
We have raised significant funds to compensate RWH employees who are willing to turn whistleblower. Our initial plan was to pay a £10,000 reward for information leading to the closure or RW Hospital. However, our lawyers have advised us that it is not currently legal to provide financial incentives for someone to blow the whistle. Instead, we are using the funds to help RWH whistleblowers get the legal advice and compensation they deserve. We cannot pay you directly but if you do want to share with us any information about the hospital violating any law or taking any safeguarding risks, we would be most grateful as we might be able to use that in our own action/s against Elysium. You can disclose information to us through our lawyers who will also ensure that no patient confidentiality is breached.
Our lawyers are already helping one of your colleagues and we invite you to seek our lawyers’ assistance if you, too, have something to disclose to the authorities. All such legal advice you receive will be funded by us. We do not ask for a cut of any compensation you’re awarded from Elysium Healthcare.
How it works:
– If you want to avail of our legal firm’s help in a whistleblowing matter, simply write to this email address (but make sure you write from a private gmail / outlook / hotmail type address and not your work address) – firstname.lastname@example.org
– We do not wish to know your name or your identity so please do not disclose these details when you contact us;
– Our lawyers, however, will need to take your name and other details as they have a legal responsibility to do this. They will also verify your employment status at RWH. Note though that it will all be under a confidentiality agreement and they will not be at liberty to disclose those details to us;
– Our lawyers will pass your concerns / reports to the relevant authorities. They will also answer any questions you have about whistleblowing and advise around the subject.
– You will be charged no fees for this legal advice.
Note that any further emails we send to staff at RWH will come from a different email address (just in case Elysium block our gmail address).
Please pass the contents of this email to any colleagues of yours who have not received a copy. It will also be available on our website: Or go straight to our Employee Information Page which we will keep updated with news about our campaign that is of importance to you.
RWH Parent Action Group