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NMC calls for views on nurse whistleblowing guidance


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.


Readers' comments (6)

  • nurses would love to be whistleblowers over areas of genuine concern,but I am afraid that to do so would lead to reprisals,as I have seen and been subjected to.
    Trusts have policies in place which purport to protect the informant but this is merely ticking the right boxes and paying lip-service to a culture of openess.

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  • I agree with the first poster 100%...very well said!
    I too have been subject to reprisals as were most of my dept. We had no support while management took the necessary bureaucratic steps to deal with the whistle blowing. Lip service all round, then back to normal. No actual action, no understanding of concerns, and very little attempt to deal with them. Several colleagues had tried to verbally inform management about the problems, but we were asked to put it in writing to help them deal with it. Strange that bureacracy is more important than communication these days.

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  • it is incredibly difficult as there seems a lack of support and guidance from the management. Often concerns are swept under the carpet in the hope that it will go away. I fear the future and have concerns about what makes a good manager.
    There is the issue of being called a racist, when actually u have genuine concern for the patient safety. I hope that universities pass nurses for good academia rather than passing to gain good uni reputation! and likewise in the clinical area

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  • People say too much in reality they do nothing.

    Please remember, Whistle-blowing is a Boomerang. No one will help you at the end.

    I am a registered nurse and was suspended,luckly I was called back to work. Eventually I became a regular victim of bullying and harassment of a senior manager. Finally I was dismissed for a minor reason following three months suspension and stated it a gross misconduct. I went for legal battle to present all the issues and my rights but the verdict was unbelievable it was only useful for jeopardize my remaining career.
    Whether or not the employer followed all the statutory disciplinary procedure was the main point and highly relevant other than the 'reason' for dismissal. Ultimately as an overseas nurse me and family were forced to say Good Bye to Grate Britian as there was no work permit or visa to live in your great country.

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  • Whistleblowing;Raising concerns------we are told and shown the detailed policies and procedures to enable this,whilst informed we will recieve support under these circumstances;we follow our NMC Code of Practice and Conduct,as this is necessary and expected.....though where is the true support? It is non-existent.
    Through experience,the perpetrator and management are the only people who are supported--or protected!!!

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  • I agree with the above..I reported concerns which were not dealt with,matters became worse,was also given veiled threats,followed and watched.Again reported concerns.As a result, internal investigation held,BUT,no evidence found,yet numerous reports made by others.These initialed reports were then given to the accused perpetrators.I was in effect demoted,told my 'Standards were too high'.Line managers had no understading of NMC code practice.I was asked by managers if I would do the same again,I told them I would.I now feel I am being watched and judged.Now.who came out worse?!!!!!!!!!!!!

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