Student nurses are not protected if they are victimised after raising concerns over patient safety, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned.
The union is calling on the government to change whistleblowing legislation to cover nursing students who work in hospitals across the country.
Chris Cox, head of legal services at the RCN, said that at present the Public Interest Disclosure Act does not cover training nurses because of the way the legal document is worded.
Mr Cox, who is currently attending the RCN’s annual congress in Liverpool, said: “The whistleblowing legislation protects workers and it protects medical students and it protects people doing work experience but because of the way it is currently worded it does not protect nursing students.
“If they raise concerns and are victimised as a result they are not protected.
“We are calling on the government to amend the legislation to extend the protection to student nurses.”
One of the key recommendations made as a result of the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust scandal was that concerns and complaints should be able to be raised “freely without fear”.
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