It’s not just the NHS that bully “Whistleblowers”

Whistleblowers who flagged up a lack of action by council bosses were bullied, harassed and driven out of their jobs, a report reveals.

Instead of acting on the confidential information given to them to help protect children at risk of abuse, the bosses turned on the informants.

Inspectors found that Rotherham council went to ‘some lengths’ to cover up information handed to it. In three cases, people who blew the whistle felt they had been marginalised by bosses, bullied, harassed and victimised as a result.

You can't say thatSimilarly, a youth service, whose job it was to highlight the horrendous level of child sex abuse in the community, was closed down.

In two cases, whistleblowers claimed they were deliberately ‘restructured’ out. In a third case, they felt they had been marginalised and were forced to leave their job.

One said:”I stepped forward on behalf of young people. I am am proud to have done so despite the cost to my health and financial situation. The machine at Rotherham Council doesn’t care, won’t listen and simply exists to cover up and destroy.”

Another staff member said: “We’ve all been made aware of the (whistleblowing) procedure, but no one ever dares use it, because if they did, eventually it would come back to bite them in the backside and they would be bullied out of the organisation.”

In the report Louise Casey said: “It has created an unhealthy climate where people fear to speak out because they have seen the consequences of doing so for others.

‘Staff have spoken to inspectors of being afraid to speak out, told to keep quiet, instructed to cover up, and of a culture where “if you want to keep your job, you keep your mouth shut.”

‘Inspectors received evidence to show that the council did not always do the right thing. Sometimes this was because officers were worried about the impact on the council’s reputation.’

‘The youth centre, Ricky Business, which worked directly with victims of child sex abuse, flagged up ‘uncomfortable truths’ and was shut down.

Mrs Casey said: “Child abuse and exploitation happens all over the country, but Rotherham is different in that it was repeatedly told by its own youth service what was happening and it chose, not only not to act, but to close that service down.”

She added: “This is important because it points to how it has dealt with uncomfortable truths put before it.”

Daily Mail. Thursday Feb 5th. 2015 p. 14

“And just how do we address these ‘uncomfortable truths’ in our authorities and institutions when they act and seem untouchable?”

How a Government Grant can Help Fund a Home Lift

With home lifts becoming more popular for people with disabilities as an alternative to the stairlift, people that thought they would not be able to afford one may be able to get a grant from their local council to help fund it.

It is called the Disabilities Facilities Grant and can be given by local authorities if you are disabled and need financial assistance to adapt a home to help live a fulfilling and independent life.

The Grant will not affect any benefits a disabled person may receive and is available in the UK depending on the household income and savings of over £6,000. In England, the Grant can be up to £30,000, Wales (£36,000), Northern Ireland (£25,000) and in Scotland it depends on the local council. The Grant may not be given, however, if the home lift installation has already started on the property before the council approves the application.

The local authority will pay its contribution to the work either by instalments as the work progresses or in full when the work is finished. Domestic lifts ( by Stiltz Lifts for example, can only take a full day to install as it does not use hydraulics or require load bearing walls so minimal building work is required. The council may want to view the finished work or require an invoice, demand or receipt for payment from the home lift provider once the installation has been completed.

To be eligible, somebody living in the property has to be disabled and own the home or be a tenant. They must also intend to live in the property during the grant period which is currently five years. The council will need to be happy a home lift is necessary and will meet the disabled person’s needs and the house’s age and condition is not a barrier can handle the work being carried out.

Before a claim for a Disabilities Facilities Grant is started the applicant must find out what changes are needed to the property, the type of work that needs to be carried out and the cost of the work. At Stiltz Lifts, the company offers a free site inspection. The Stiltz Duo Through Floor Lift starts at £8,990 plus VAT).
Applications forms can be obtained from the housing or environmental health department of the local council. They may need two written estimates for the work and decision will be made in writing within six months of the application date. An appeal can be made if an application is unsuccessful