Nurses have a professional responsibility to blow the whistle when they have concerns, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said.
The NMC is encouraging nurses to respond to its consultation on raising and escalating concerns.
It asks whether draft NMC guidance for raising and escalating concerns is sufficiently clear and helpful.
NMC head of midwifery Christina McKenzie said it was important for nurses and midwives to have their say. She said: “We need to know what people think. Does it explain where they can go for help? If we’re not achieving that then we’re not helping them deal with these situations.”
She recognised that some nurses found it difficult to speak up about problems. This included those living in small communities who were more likely to bump into people they had made allegations about.
But she emphasised the importance of raising concerns and abiding by the code of conduct.
“It can be difficult for a whole variety of reasons,“ she said. “It may be because of working in small, closed groups and that could be across the health service, but you have a professional responsibility.”
The consultation closes on 31 March.