Raising Concerns Newsletter Issue 1 February 2014


03 / 02 / 2014

NHS Employers role

As an employers organisation we know the value of cultures where staff feel supported yo raise concerns. We provide support and guidance to help NHS organisations implement and embed frameworks which enable staff to raise safeguarding or other such concerns which are in the public interest.

As well as providing general advice to employers and ensuring that they are engaged in the development of policy and legislation, we also know the importance of sharing learning and good practice and look at ways of working with employers to facilitate this through our website, social media, events and other networks.

We work closely with the national Whistleblowing Helpline.  The helpline was established in 2012 and povides free, confidential advice to staff within the NHS and Social Care (see more details below). 

Tools and resources 

Newly added to our tools and resources section is the Top Tips for reporting concerns flyer. This is the perfect size to be put into payslips, or to be given out as a flyer in any communications with staff. As well as the flyer, you will also find free downloadable posters which you can add your own logo to and FAQ's giving answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from employers in relation to the development of internal policies and what the law says.


Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust 

Trust signpostSee how Staffordshire and Stoke On Trent Partnership NHS Trust has created a more open and transparent environment to ensure that individuals have the support they need when they raise a concern. Read the case study.

Helene Donnelly, Ambassador of Cultural Change at the Trust talks to Caroline Waterfield, Head of Employment Services at NHS Employers about her work on raising staff awareness about how to raise a concern and support available to them. Listen to our podcast.


Does Organisational Development link to raising concerns?

Little DooDCreating an environment where staff feel they can raise a concern is key. There needs to be a culture of openness and transparency in your organisation. Organisational development (OD) can be a key part of creating this culture. Our DoOD team has developed some great tools for you to share, learn and connect with others. You can access the DoOD toolkit, podcasts and free gifts from O December here.


Francis: One year on and the NHS is getting better 

Last week marks the first anniversary of the publication of the Francis Report and there are signs things are getting better.

NHS organisations are actively working on initiatives to improve their services, provide better patient care and transform their culture. In the past 12 months we've already seen new inspections, more nurses, a stronger voice for patients and a greater emphasis on compassionate care.

We have put together an overview of what we've done to help you and what we have planned for the year ahead see our web page Francis: one year on.

Whistleblowing Helpline and guidance update

The national Whistleblowing Helpline offers free, confidential advice to all staff within the NHS and Social care. The helpline has been undertaking work to review existing guidance 'Speak up for a healthy NHS' with a view to extending the scope to include guidelines and top tips for employers, managers and workers across the Health and Social Care Sectors.  The new guidance 'Raising concerns at work' has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders across the two sectors and will be endorsed through the Social Partnership Forum. In the interim, guidelines outlined in the 'Speak Up for a Health NHS' are still current can be found on our Guidance for employers section.  


BIS consultation on legal frameworks which protect whistleblowers - outcomes due to be reported soon

In July 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published a call for evidence from employers, regulatory bodies and regulators which would inform their review of the existing legal protections afforded to staff when they raise a (whistleblowing) concern. The survey closed on 1 November 2013. It is anticipated that BIS will be reporting it's findings and recommendations in the Spring and we will provide you with more information about any pending changes to legislation as soon as we know more.

You can see our response to BIS and find out further information about the consultation here.


Settlement Agreements and Severance Payments

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report on confidentiality clauses and special severance payments. The report contains several recommendations for the use of confidentiality clauses and special severance payments in the public sector. You can see what Sue Covill, director of employment services at the NHS Employers organisation said in response to the report here.

For more information on Settlement Agreements and Severance Payments you can view the NHS Employers publications by clicking on the links. 



Thank you for reading the first addition of the raising concerns newsletter. In future additions we will we keep you posted with the most up to date news about changes to policy and legislation, feature what organisations are doing to champion the raising of concerns, and keep you up to date with other articles of interest.

We would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with feedback on the newsletter, to share good practice, questions or just comments by emailing helen.bogan@nhsemployers.org.

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