Internet whistleblower sacked

A social worker at Swindon council, who set up a website
criticising the performance of her employers, has been sacked at a
disciplinary hearing, writes Amy

Deborah Rees was suspended from her job as a planning officer
for adults with learning difficulties last August, six days after
she set up the website.

The website accuses council leaders of ineffective and
incompetent management and says a strong blame culture is in
operation. It also alleges that institutional bullying,
discrimination and victimisation are rife in the housing and social
services departments.

Rees described the hearing as a farce saying that the council
had already decided to sack her, and they weren’t interested in any
of the reasons behind her whistleblowing.

She said that she had not made any decisions about her future
yet, and was still trying to come to terms with what had happened.
She criticised the lack of protection for people working in social
services who choose to be a whistleblower, and said that she had
received many emails from individuals who wanted to, but were too
afraid to do so.

“I would like there to be a support network for people working
in social services so they don’t fall into my situation,” she

The council said Rees had been dismissed for failing “to exhaust
the internal complaint procedures that were open to her” before
going public with her criticisms. They added that they could make
no further comment until any appeal procedure that Rees may wish to
pursue had been completed.

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