Nurses urged to have their say on new whistleblowing policy

Eight week consultation on proposals for how organisations respond when staff raise concerns

Healthcare workers are being urged to contribute their views to a consultation on new procedures for whistleblowing.

The new policy for raising safety concerns, drawn up by Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England, includes a focus on offering staff more support to highlight poor care.

In the Freedom to Speak Up review, which examined people's experiences of whistleblowing in the NHS, Sir Robert Francis made a number of recommendations to deliver a more consistent approach to whistleblowing across the NHS. The recommendations, which the Department of Health accepted in principle, detail who can raise concerns, how they should go about doing so, and how organisations should respond.

The proposed new policy also sets out a commitment to listen to staff, learn lessons from mistakes and to properly investigate concerns when they are reported.

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

NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster said: ‘This consultation is another opportunity for every board in the NHS to consider how national arrangements support their local efforts to ensure that staff feel safe in raising concerns. I urge every chair to take the opportunity to contribute and to engage in a discussion with their board on local arrangements.’

Monitor’s head of enquiries, complaints and whistleblowing, Tom Grimes, said: ‘We want to encourage a culture where raising concerns becomes normal practice in the NHS.

‘We will support the NHS to improve services for patients and a key part of that is listening to its staff and learning lessons. But this will need commitment throughout NHS organisations, from members of the board to those working in front line services.

The consultation closes on January 8. To take part click here

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