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Staff most likely to whistleblow inside two years of joining org

The typical whistleblower is a skilled worker or professional who has been working for less than two years, according to a report by pressure group Public Concern at Work.

The report, titled Whistleblowing: the inside story, was jointly compiled with the University of Greenwich and based on the experiences of 1,000 callers to the whistleblowing charity’s confidential advice line.  

It found newer employees were most likely to blow the whistle, especially those with less than two years’ service, and that concerns were usually raised twice at most.

It paints a largely negative picture whistleblowing experiences, however. For example, 74% of whistleblowers said nothing was done about the wrongdoing they highlighted, 60% received no response from management and 15% were dismissed from their job as a result of raising concerns.

Public Concern at Work chief executive Cathy James said: “While organisations may be getting better at addressing wrongdoing, they are still shooting the messenger and overlooking crucial opportunities to address concerns quickly and effectively.”

In January the charity also set up an Independent Whistleblowing Commission to review whistleblowing in the UK and make recommendations for change. Its five members include Gary Walker, whistleblower and former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The commission is due to report by the end of the year and would like to hear from workers for whom speaking out inside their organisation has been a positive or negative experience.

Public Concern at Work is a supporter of Nursing Times’ Speak Out safely campaign, which is seeking to increase protection for whistleblowers.

 

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

Readers' comments (4)

  • michael stone

    It paints a largely negative picture whistleblowing experiences, however. For example, 74% of whistleblowers said nothing was done about the wrongdoing they highlighted, 60% received no response from management and 15% were dismissed from their job as a result of raising concerns.

    YEP - it is almost pointless telling HCPs about 'a professional duty to raise concerns' while statistics like those persist !

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  • Are we too indoctrinated and too scared after 2 years? I guess so!

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  • stands to reason. people come from training full of ideals and a critical eye for what does not meet up to expectations of acceptable practice.
    they learn from experience what happens when they whistle-blow and discover to their own detriment, to that of their patients and to that of their colleagues and the organisation that it is safer to keep quiet to maintain a status quo and respect the unwritten rules of the organisational culture. it is after this dangerous point that the risk of enforced acceptance sets for the sake of self preservation and protection of their jobs. sadly complacency and loss of motivation, enthusiasm and energy may then start to set in with negative consequences to health through suppression of feelings and expression of thoughts and ideas leading to stress, feelings of guilt at not being able to serve their patients and provide care which meets anybody' s expectations, and in the extreme, may and often does lead to development of symptoms of depression and/or burnout!

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  • Im an RGN My 1st report was in 1994 at an NHS hospital in Hampshire -lost that job. I worked as agency, being unable to get an NHS job. One home was closed as a result of another report. I reported many homes. In Tyne & Wear I reported abuse and neglect at an NHS hospital- lost that job. In Co Durham recently reported abuse & neglect Nothing done -lost that job.
    NQN you will be the nurses & managers of the future You have the choice of continuing the culture of fear in WB or making it essential part of nursing
    Im a68 year old RGN still working

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