HC Deb 15 July 2004 vol 423 c1633 6.13 pm
Mr. John Horam (Orpington) (Con)

I wish to present a petition on behalf of Eileen Chubb of the BUPA seven and others. BUPA seven is composed of former care workers who spoke out against elder abuse in a care home in Bromley.

The petition states: That silence is a major contributory factor in elder abuse in care homes and that unless whistleblowers are fully protected, the silence will continue, along with the suffering of those who are unable to speak out for themselves. The Petitioners further declare that the case of the "BUPA Seven" has raised real concerns that the Public Interest Disclosure Act is failing to protect those who speak out in defence of the legitimate interests of others. Amongst these failings is the fact that if the employer contests disclosures then the whistleblower is left in a situation where the only court that can hear the caseshas no jurisdiction to hear criminal evidence. The Petitioners further declare that the verdict in the case of the "BUPA Seven" will serve to encourage others not to report cases of abuse, and they note the conclusion of the Health Committee in its Report on Elder Abuse that further measures to make staff aware of their responsibility to report abuse, and to allow them to do this in a confidential manner, may be needed. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to hold a full public inquiry into the case of the "BUPA Seven" in order to address in full the concerns raised and to ensure that whistleblowers can speak out without fear of reprisal or victimisation and that fear and silence are not encouraged.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.

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