NHS announces whistle-blower scheme to roll out across UK
NHS has announced a new whistle-blower scheme, which is set to roll out across the country for staff who raise the alarm on unsafe practice.
The launch of the career support scheme follows two pilot projects started in 2017 which offered targeted support to 16 people who left the health service after they raised concerns about their organisation. As a result, a third were successfully helped to retain or regain employment in the NHS.
Following on from this, the NHS will now offer practical support to any doctor, nurse, or other worker across the country who requires additional support to build their career after raising concerns at work, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve care and treatment.
The scheme is said to include staff career coaching, shadowing opportunities, work experience, CV writing advice, interview skills practice and resilience training to former or current members of staff who have blown the whistle on poor practice.
“NHS staff raise concerns because they care about our patients,” explained Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, “and every member of our workforce – midwife, therapist, cleaner, surgeon or receptionist – who spots and reports poor practice should be supported to help put things right.”
He continued to say that the NHS Long Term Plan sets out a “world-leading package of measures to improve patients’ treatment and care, but we must keep getting the basics right, which is why we produced the first ever national patient safety strategy, are making it easier for our people to report problems and are taking steps to show our clinicians and other staff the same duty of care that we offer patients.”
As well as making it easier for staff to tackle problems, the NHS is taking steps to stamp out risks, with the new patient safety strategy supporting clinicians to halve medicine errors and continue to reduce the number of stillbirths.