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Mid Staffs whistleblower backs new NMC guidance on raising concerns


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.



Readers' comments (16)

  • michael stone | 10-Sep-2013 3:22 pm

    You have no idea what I'm talking about. It is nothing to do with what you are talking about.

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  • Anonymous | 10-Sep-2013 4:16 pm

    ignore. it is a Troll!

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  • Anonymous | 10-Sep-2013 5:11 pm

    Who is a Troll?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 11-Sep-2013 0:11 am

    Yes, I wasn't clear about that either, Anonymous | 10-Sep-2013 5:11 pm - are you saying that I'm a troll, or that my follower at 4:16 pm is a troll ?

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  • What evidence is there that new guidance will make any difference to the guiadnace that was previosuly in place? But, the NMC can tick the box that it has done its bit and move on

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  • I complained about various issues including seclusion and medication abuses at my LD trust and two internal inquiries later I received a letter of thanks from the trust CEO and a copy of the resulting report..a trust wide Seclusion Review. I was then fired on a trumped-up charge of accessing one seclusion victims file which was dis-proven so adjusted by managers to looking for too long. The NMC resurrected all 12 previously dis-proven "inappropriate" accessing s and invented a new charge..using my home computer to write my original complaint statement which I immediately submitted at the time. I was as a consequence then given access to a trust computer to write it out in full which formed the basis of the first internal inquiry that resulted in the district pharmacist thanking me for raising my concerns and consequently implementing "citalopram plans" to ensure that no further otherwise completely healthy medication-free teenagers were prescribed untimely psychotropics that were not even indicated. However I appealed because my complaints about abusive seclusions were covered-up. The NMC seem more interested in protecting a dodgy trust than protecting anyone.

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