The nursing regulator is set to unveil updated guidance on raising concerns about patient safety, stating that doing so is an “unequivocal professional duty” of being a registered nurse or midwife.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council will publish new guidance on raising concerns this week at its latest council meeting on Thursday, where it will be publicly endorsed by former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust whistleblower Helene Donnelly.
Ms Donnelly will address the meeting about her experiences of raising concerns at Mid Staffordshire and her new role as ambassador for cultural change at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust, where she works as a community nurse.
She said: “I’m pleased to support the revised guidance. I want to encourage nurses and midwives to understand their own professional responsibility to speak out when they have concerns about standards of care.
“But there is much more that organisations need to do to make raising and dealing with concerns more straightforward,” she added.
Her presentation to the council meeting will be live streamed on the NMC website and will also be available for playback.
The main revisions to the NMC’s existing guidance from 2010 reflect legal changes and additional resources available to individuals who wish to raise concerns, such as information on organisations that can provide advice and support on how to take matters forward.
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “We want a health and social care sector… where all staff can raise concerns without fear of reprisals.
“Nursing and midwifery managers need to understand their professional responsibility also includes taking honestly raised concerns seriously,” she said. “Every nurse, midwife and student should read the guidance.”
Nursing Times is currently running the Speak Out Safely campaign to improve protection for staff to raise legitimate concerns without fear of recrimination.
Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.