MJA Symposium: Trust and working with whistleblowers

By March 7, 2024Public

Symposium organiser, MJA vice-chair Emma Wilkinson

Book your place for the 2024 MJA Symposium, on April 13, and discover how to hone your skills around building trust and working with whistleblowers.

Bookings have now closed in order to provide details to caterers and security at the venue.  All those who have registered and paid have been sent the final programme and venue details but they can also be downloaded:

Download MJA Annual Symposium Final Details 2024

We have an impressive line up of investigative journalists who have exposed shocking stories including the doctors who raised concerns about Lucy Letby and Medicine’s Me-too scandal around sexual incidents. The all-day event will be opened by Mark Honigsbaum, senior lecturer City University, who are providing our venue for the day, and MJA Chair, Shaun Lintern, who will also be fielding questions on the final panel session — along with Pulse editor Jaimie Kaffash and a representative of Symposium sponsors, the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK).

The lowdown on leaks

The morning plenary session will focus on whistleblowers and leaks and presentations:

Rosa Furneaux, whose work is published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Reuters offers a global perspective and talks about her work uncovering how substandard medicines were harming children with cancer.

Lucy Letby: Raising concerns and not being heard will be explored by Dr Ravi Jayaram, from the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Deb Cohen, established the BMJ Investigations unit, helped to expose unsafe hip implants and failings at the Tavistock GIDS and has contributed to Newsnight, BMJ, ITV and Channel 4. She will be looking at how to deal with sensitive leaked information.

Medicine’s me-too moment

Investigative journalist Adele Waters talks about the BMJ and Guardian exposé of sexual assaults and harassment on NHS premises

Adele Waters, will talk about medicine’s me-too moment — and the massive Freedom of Information exercise undertaken by the BMJ and Guardian to expose the scale of sexual assaults on NHS premises.

We’ll also be looking at how to play the long game in building trust — and working with organisations such as DAUK, who are the voice of frontline doctors, patient groups and other groups and individuals with a commitment to patient safety and quality care.


After a lunch-break, with tea, coffee and sandwiches provided, we’ll have a series of workshops around working with whistleblowers, using data to build trust (with Tom Calver from The Times and Sunday Times, the importance of fact checking (Steve Nowottny, Full Fact) and covering an inquiry (James Harrison, Freelance).

The Symposium will close with what is bound to be a lively discussion on whistleblowing and the NHS, which will be chaired by MJA vice-chair and symposium organiser, Emma Wilkinson.

As part of the MJA’s commitment to nurturing new talent there is a discounted admission for students. If you are self-employed, please note that as this symposium constitutes a training course to develop skills, under HMRC rules it is a tax-deductible expense. (The MJA is on HMRC’s list of approved professional bodies and learned societies, so membership fees are also tax deductible.)

With thanks to Symposium and MJA Awards sponsors, DAUK.

MJA Symposium Schedule (Saturday April 13, 2024):

Welcome address, Shaun Lintern MJA chair and Mark Honigsbaum, senior lecturer City University

10:00-13:00 Morning plenary session: Whistleblowers and leaks (coffee break 11.30)

A global story – uncovering how substandard medicines were harming children with cancer Rosa Furneaux, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism/Reuters

Lucy Letby: Raising concerns and not being heard Dr Ravi Jayaram, Countess of Chester Hospital

Dealing with sensitive leaked information Deb Cohen, Freelance journalist who has worked for Newsnight, BMJ, and ITV

Medicines Me Too moment – Adele Waters, BMJ and David Batty, The Guardian

Playing the long game in building trust – Henry Anderson, HSJ


13.45-14:45 Workshops

Using data to build trust Tom Calver, The Times and Sunday Times

Covering an inquiry – James Harrison, a freelance reporter covering the Covid inquiry for Open Democracy


15.00-16.00 Workshops

The importance of fact checking – Steve Nowottny, Full Fact

Working with whistleblowers, Protect charity

16.00-17.00 Panel discussion: whistleblowing and the NHS (chaired by Emma Wilkinson)

17:00 Networking session


MJA Symposium delegate rates:

  • MJA Student Member/City, University of London Student £10
  • Other Students  £25 (why not join the MJA for £13 and receive all the benefits of membership plus pay the reduced fee of £10 to attend)
  • MJA Member £30
  • Women in Journalism Member/We Are Black Journos Member/Guild of Health Writers Member £40
  • Non Member £50

Please complete the registration form to secure your place.  When you press submit you will be directed to our payment page.  Your place is not secured until you make your payment.  You will also receive a confirmation email.  If you don’t get redirected to the payment page and/or don’t receive a confirmation email get in touch so that we can secure your place

Registration is now closed

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