Health Service Focus

09.10.19

NHS to introduce support plan for whistle-blowers

NHS England members of staff who call to attention any malpractice will be supported through new dedicated system.

If any doctor, nurse of NHS worker across the country was to raise the alarm on poor or unsafe practice within the NHS, they no longer have to worry about the effect it could have on their career.

During a number of successful pilots dating back to 2017, 16 people who had left the health service after raising concerns over the organisation, were offered this support. One in three effectively retained or regained NHS employment.

The scheme will be part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve care and treatment.

The new support emphasises the NHS’s dedication to patient wellbeing and safety. This comes after a first-of-its-kind patient safety strategy, published earlier this year, insisted that every local health service has a dedicated patient safety specialist.

New measures will include career coaching, shadowing opportunities, work experience, CV writing advice, interview practice and resilience training to any member of staff, past or present, who have blown the whistle on their colleagues.

According to the NHS, evidence outlines that higher quality of care creates a more positive speak up culture, which ultimately protects patients.

Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive 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.

“The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a world-leading package of measures to improve patients’ treatment and care, but we must keep getting the basics right, which is why we produced the first ever national patient safety strategy, are making it easier for our people to report problems and are taking steps to show our clinicians and other staff the same duty of care that we offer patients.”

A national patient safety reporting system will give people, be it staff, patients or visiting families the opportunity to report incidents directly on their mobile phones.

Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS said:

“Making the NHS the best place to work is vital for our staff and means better care for our patients.

“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.”

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