On the agenda: NHS staff 'gagging clauses' banned

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has banned so-called 'gagging clauses' for NHS staff leaving their jobs with immediate effect.

Jeremy Hunt: Health Minister
Jeremy Hunt: Health Minister

In more detail

Hunt has come out on the side of whistleblowers in the NHS by saying that departing staff should be given new legal rights to raise issues of concern, ditching so-called ‘compromise agreements’ imposed on employees when they leave the service.

He said: ‘We need a culture of openness and transparency if we are going to stop another Mid Staffs from happening. The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end.’

The compromise agreements in contracts have previously had to be approved by the Department of Health and the Treasury. The Health Secretary said these clauses would be banned as he looks to implement transparency at the ‘heart’ of the health service.

In addition, Hunt will implement a new chief inspector of hospitals, with plans for a third of hospitals’ inspection criteria to be dedicated to patient experience.

PR strategy

The news was broken in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, which was run on its front page and followed by every national newspaper. 

Media coverage

The story was covered by national newspapers both in print and online, by regional and trade press and national broadcasters.

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