NHS whistleblower support scheme to roll out across the country

NHS England will roll out dedicated support for members of staff who raise the alarm on unsafe practice.

The NHS will offer practical support to staff across the country who need additional support to build their career after raising concerns at work.

A spokesman for NHS England said the launch of the career support scheme follows two pilot projects, started in 2017, which offered targeted support to 16 people who left the health service after they raised concerns about their organisation, with one in three successfully helped to retain or regain employment in the NHS.

The scheme will offer staff career coaching, shadowing opportunities, work experience, CV writing advice, interview skills practice and resilience training to former or current members of staff who have blown the whistle on poor practice.

The move to ramp up support for whistle-blowers is part of a package of measures to put a renewed focus on the wellbeing of patients under NHS care and follows publication earlier this year of a world-first patient safety strategy, which included a requirement for every local health service to have a dedicated patient safety specialist.

Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, welcomed the scheme.

He said: ‘NHS staff raise concerns because they care about our patients, and every member of our workforce – midwife, therapist, cleaner, surgeon or receptionist – who spots and reports poor practice should be supported to help put things right.

‘We making it easier for our people to dreport problems and are taking steps to show our clinicians and other staff the same duty of care that we offer patients.’

Progress in recent years has been supported by Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, members of staff in each local part of the health service responsible for helping improve openness in reporting problems, who are now well established in trusts, with funding for the posts tripling and guardians handling more than 19,000 cases.

Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS, added: ‘Our staff shouldn’t have to think twice before blowing the whistle on poor practice, but too often nurses, doctors and other important workers worry about the impact on their own career.

‘So helping our world-class workforce to play a leading role in spotting and stopping problems as they arise will make the health service even safer as we deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay


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