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NUJ defends coronavirus whistle-blowers & journalistic sources

31 March 2020

The NUJ has condemned threats made to UK key workers over speaking to journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"At a time when accurate information and quality journalism is more vital than ever, it is outrageous that brave healthcare workers are being threatened with disciplinary action if they speak out to journalists. It is particularly disgraceful to gag workers who are rightly speaking out to highlight the shortage of critical protective equipment.
"The public has the right to know what is happening, especially when it relates to the health and well-being of the nation. NHS England should withdraw these threats immediately. 
"This current crisis underlines the importance of journalism and the need to ensure that the lockdown is not used as a means of suppressing information, or making it harder for whistle-blowers to do the right thing and speak out."

The trade union GMB has said NHS England has warned doctors, nurses and other staff they will be subjected to disciplinary action if they raise concerns about patient care or workplace health and safety with the media.

Doctors have told The Independent that their careers have been threatened and they have been gagged from highlighting the shortages of protective equipment.

Tags: , coronavirus, health and safety, gmb, ethics, sources, protection of sources, whistleblowers, whistleblowing, nhs