Last Word: Gordon brown bully claims bring helpline sector into disrepute
THE national newspapers are having a field day with the story that a number of Gordon Brown s staff have called a helpline with concerns about bullying in the workplace, writes Louise McEvoy. What really concerns me is the fact the co-founder of the Natio
THE national newspapers are having a field day with the story that a number of Gordon Brown's staff have called a helpline with concerns about bullying in the workplace, writes Louise McEvoy.
What really concerns me is the fact the co-founder of the National Bullying Helpline, Christine Pratt, is guilty of a serious breach of confidentiality.
Ms Pratt has spoken out about the private calls and even told one national newspaper that one caller had suffered from work-related stress and had had time out of the office. This information will almost certainly identify this person.
The charity's website states: "Your call is confidential to us and you will be treated with dignity and respect at all times." Not only has confidential information been disclosed, but the fact details about personal calls to the charity have been splashed across national newspapers means callers have not been treated with dignity and respect.
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Ms Pratt's actions will have far-reaching consequences which could be potentially devastating.
She has totally undermined the credibility of the helpline sector, and brought it into disrepute.
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People will undoubtedly be deterred from coming forward and contacting a helpline of any kind in the future.
Aside from the National Bullying Helpline, helpline charities have already reported people getting in touch to say they will never use their service again.
The damage Ms Pratt has done is irrefutable and irrevocable.
Whatever her motivation when she made the decision to publicly disclose confidential information, it was certainly not the wellbeing of her clients.
Ms Pratt should seriously consider her position within the helpline sector, where confidentiality is paramount.