A whistleblowing charter has been signed by health unions, employers and regulators, which pledges to support staff who raise concerns.
The “Speaking Up” charter was launched today, outlining a commitment by 28 organisations to work together to support staff when raising a safety concern. They said they recognised there was “more to do to promote a culture in the NHS where staff can report concerns with confidence”.
Signees include the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the royal colleges of nursing and midwives, Unison, Unite and NHS Employers, which represents trusts and other health service organisations.
NHS Employers director Dean Royles said: “Our staff should feel confident that they can report concerns when they feel things are not going right and be assured that appropriate action will be taken.”
Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, added: “It is vital that NHS staff have the confidence to speak up when they have any concerns over standards of patient care or staff safety.”
The six-point charter was developed following a whistleblowing summit held in May. The six commitments signed-up to by all the organisations are:
- To work in partnership with other organisations to develop a positive culture by promoting openness, transparency, fairness, reporting and learning as an important and integral part of providing safer patient and public care
- To adhere to the principles of this charter to foster a culture of openness which supports staff to raise concerns
- To share expertise to create effective ways of breaking down barriers to reporting incidents and concerns early on
- To exchange information, where it is appropriate and lawful to do so, in the interest of patient and public safety
- To signpost individuals to support and guidance to ensure that they are fully aware of and understand their protected rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA)
- To seek to highlight issues where current law or regulations may restrict those who wish to raise a concern about a human error.