"Two high profile whistleblowers are teaming up to launch a new campaign next week which will call for more independent regulation of the health service.
Dr Jane Hamilton and Rab Wilson, who exposed concerns about the quality of care within NHS Scotland, have joined forces with around 50 other healthcare professionals. A petition supporting their action group will be launched on Wednesday.
Their group, Action for a Safe and Accountable People’s NHS in Scotland (ASAP- NHS) wants an independent watchdog set up to oversee the health service and protect staff who speak out on patient safety.
It is also calling for better enforcement of existing health and safety legislation and Fatal Accident Inquiry determinations.
Dr Hamilton, a consultant perinatal psychiatrist, claims her career in Scotland was ruined after she raised concerns about the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at St John's Hospital in Livingston and warned that patients could die.
Two women patients subsequently took their own lives at the unit.
Former psychiatric nurse Rab Wilson, who exposed a catalogue of errors surrounding the deaths of 20 patients at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said the lack of independent regulation was a "huge black hole" in Scottish health provision.
"That's why we need more accountability and transparency, the bottom line is that, at the moment, they inspect themselves and what they say goes."
Dr Hamilton believes Scotland could follow England's lead where independent regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors, inspects and regulates health services.
While Scotland has bodies such as Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), critics claim they are not truly independent and do not have enough teeth.
Dr Hamilton added: "There is no independent regulatory body in Scotland, there is nowhere for people to go to raise concerns about patient safety.
"That's why several of us have come together to set up this group and take action."
After raising her concerns in 2007, the doctor went off sick with stress related illness, then worked elsewhere but was not allowed to return to the unit, officially leaving NHS Lothian last year.
The health board and Scottish Government have always insisted her concerns were thoroughly and independently investigated and were unfounded.
Mr Wilson added: "The bodies of scrutiny we have in Scotland are just that - bodies of scrutiny. There is no regulation. These health boards can do whatever they like, they're answerable to no-one."
He also claimed that recent initiatives such as an anonymous whistleblowing helpline for NHS staff had been "pretty useless".
ASAP-NHS will launch officially at the Scottish Parliament building, with a website being set up featuring video clips of patients, families and NHS staff telling stories of their own experiences.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The Scottish Government has made absolutely clear to health boards that they must ensure it is safe and acceptable for staff to speak up about any concerns they may have, particularly in relation to patient safety, and with the knowledge that any genuine concern will be treated seriously and investigated properly.
“We are also in the process of establishing the role of an Independent National Whistleblowing Officer, to provide an independent and external review on the handling of whistleblowing cases in NHSScotland.
“These actions should demonstrate our commitment to support whistleblowers across our NHS, and we hope this new pressure group can make a positive contribution to this agenda and the considerable work we have underway.”