[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 9, April 2012].
An updated NHS Constitution has been published. The NHS Constitution defines the principles and values of the NHS in England. It establishes the rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled. The new Constitution applies to England; it replaces the previous version of the Constitution published in 2010. An updated handbook is available.
The importance of whistleblowing in the NHS has been given priority, and the updated Constitution emphasises:
- The expectation that staff should raise concerns at the earliest opportunity.
- The pledge that NHS organisations will support staff when raising concerns. Their concerns should be fully investigated and there should be someone independent, outside of the immediate team, to consult.
- Clarification of the legal right for staff to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or other wrong doing without personal detriment.
It has been made easier for staff to raise concerns about poor patient care. Whistleblowing is an important part of the emerging culture of patient safety.
Read more: NHS Constitution updated (Department of Health).
Department of Health (2012). NHS Constitution: the NHS belongs to us all. London: NHS Department of Health Constitution Team, March 8th 2012.
Department of Health (2012). The handbook to the NHS Constitution for England. London: Department of Health NHS Constitution Team, March 8th 2012.