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NHS Highland has unveiled a campaign in support of a new whistleblowing process for raising concerns about patient or colleague safety.
The National Whistleblowing Standards and the full Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) service, covering the whole of NHS Scotland, designed to be the final stage of a new process for anyone raising concerns across the Scottish NHS, went live on April 1.
To encourage everyone to feel confident about raising concerns, the clear message from NHS Highland is to please ‘Speak Up Listen Up’.
This is part of its vow to hear what people have to say, learn from it and offer support. Employees are encouraged to speak to their manager, trade union representative, or another trusted colleague, or report concerns through existing procedures or the Guardian Service.
Albert Donald, NHS Highland’s whistleblowing champion, an independent and impartial role, said: ‘Everyone benefits if concerns can be raised early and dealt with promptly and professionally.
‘While the National Whistleblowing Standards are a formal process, we want everyone to feel confident about raising concerns before they get to that stage. And we want to encourage managers to listen and learn from concerns. That’s why our message is ‘Speak Up Listen Up’.’
The standards are designed to be as comprehensive as possible and cover anyone involved in an NHS service, such as current and former employees, volunteers, students and partners.
The changes focus on helping people raise concerns as early as possible, as well as offering support and protection.
Under the National Whistleblowing Standards, NHS Highland delivers the first two parts of the process and the INWO acts as the final, independent review stage.
Whistleblowing means raising a concern in the public interest. Within NHS Scotland this covers a range of areas, including: patient-safety or care issues; poor practice; unsafe working conditions; fraud; changing or falsifying information about performance; breaking any legal obligation and abusing authority.
Last week a health chief predicted that a panel looking into claims of bullying by staff at NHS Highland will probably be sitting until the end of the year,
Fiona Hogg, the health board’s human resources director, has also told a meeting that the recommendations of recent reports on the subject have been fully accepted.
If anyone is involved in delivering an NHS Service and isworried about something that could cause harm, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 733 8448 from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm).
The Guardian Service remains available 24/7 to support and advises NHS Highland employees on a range of issues, including work grievances, via 0333 577 5955 or by email at email@example.com
For more on the standards please visit: Independent National Whistleblowing Officer | INWO (spso.org.uk).