NHS Improvement has released a summary of NHS whistleblowing policy, in the form of a practical handbook. The aim is to promote an open and supportive culture which encourages staff to raise concerns about patient care quality or safety issues. This is based on recommendations raised by Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up Review.
Freedom to speak up: raising concerns (whistleblowing) policy in the NHS. London: NHS Improvement, April 1st 2016. Publications Gateway Reference No: 04877.
Note: NHS Improvement now comprises Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Patient Safety, the National Reporting and Learning System, the Advancing Change Team and the Intensive Support Teams.
Whistleblowing: Doctors in Training
Health Education England (HEE) and the British Medical Association (BMA) have produced guidance on whistleblowing protection for doctors in training.
Whistleblowing and Health Education England: Guidance. London: Health Education England (HEE), September 2016.
Freedom to Speak Up: Guidance for NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trust Boards
More guidance on creating a supportive culture which encourages staff to raise concerns about issues in patient care, aimed at Trust Boards:
Guidance for boards on Freedom to Speak Up in NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts. London: NHS Improvement and the National Guardian’s Office, May 2018.
There is an accompanying self-review tool (in MS Word format) which supports Trusts’ reviews along lines of the “well-led” framework.
Official NHS TDA / Verita Report on Concerns Raised by Staff at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHSTDA) commissioned Verita to conduct an independent review to investigate the handling by the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust of concerns raised a [former] member of the clinical coding team. This review concludes that the Trust’s handling of staff concerns was significantly flawed, with a bias towards corporate self-interest. NHS Improvement has commissioned an independent governance review.
Scott-Moncrieff, L. Scott, D. [and] Mechen, D. (2016). Independent review of the handling by the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust of concerns raised by and related to Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright: a report for the NHS Trust Development Authority. [January 2016]. London: NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA) / Verita, May 12th 2016.
In the interests of balance, it should be noted that the Trust has invested heavily recently in improvements to the accuracy and impartiality of clinical coding:
Statement from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust re: Verita Report. Wolverhampton: Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, May 12th 2016.