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First NHS whistleblowing policy underway

16 November 2015

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NHS staff who expose problems in the health system will be given greater protection, as a whistleblowing policy across England is currently underway.

Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) and NHS England, have drawn up the policy to “improve services for patients and the working environment for staff across the health sector by improving how the service learns from whistleblowing”.

A consultation on the proposals will run for eight weeks, after which the national bodies will update the policy and publish a consultation response document.

In response, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Ensuring NHS staff feel confident and safe to raise concerns with their employer is a high priority across the NHS. Having clear policies and protocols is important, however, employers recognise that it is essential that this is matched with how issues are received, handled and feedback given.”

The proposals, to be adopted by NHS organisations, detail who can raise concerns, how they should go about doing so, and how organisations should respond. The policy also sets out a commitment to listen to staff, learn lessons from mistakes and to properly investigate concerns when they are reported.

“We need to ensure we do not lose this local engagement and ownership if we are to make progress. We will be working with employers and our network to inform a response to the consultation and we will be encouraging individual organisations to respond directly also,” Mortimer added.