Anti-whistleblower condition rejected

A provision in the updated code of conduct for members of the integration joint board (IJB) calling for collective responsibility, was rejected today (Thursday) as it would go against constructive dissent.

The provision reads: “I will respect the principle of collective decision-making and corporate responsibility. This means that once the board has made a decision, I will support that decision, even if I did not agree with it or vote for it.”

However a number of members thought the wording was too restrictive and would deter whistleblowing.

Gary Robinson, NHS Shetland, said: “If it’s the one phrase we are discussing then I would be inclined to leave it out.

“My reasoning for that would be, not wanting to rake over old ground, but if we think about the recent events with the valuation joint board (Orkney and Shetland valuation joint board – VJB), I think it almost goes against whistleblowing if you are just meant to accept the decision and get on.

“I think if that had happened in the valuation joint board then the serious failings there may have never come to light. So I think there are circumstances where you wouldn’t want necessarily to prevent someone from disagreeing.”

His comments relate to an audit in January this year that found VJB’s leadership overstepped its bounds and undertook actions that were unlawful.

The code of conduct passed with the phrase being removed.



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