Sir Robert Francis review of whistleblowing processes


24 / 6 / 2014 5.08pm

Sir Robert Francis will lead a review of whistleblowing processes in the NHSThe review, announced today by the Secretary of State for Health, will take place in July and August 2014 and report to the Government with recommendation in November 2014. We understand that Sir Robert will be leading the review with a team to support him and they will be looking to meet with a selection of NHS organisations across the country speaking to whistle-blowers and managers.

The key aims of the review are to:

  • reflect on the lessons learned from previous cases and look at how we can use those lessons to improve systems in the NHS
  • look at levels of accountability, where issues are not handled so well
  • explore solutions which will help build staff confidence.

Following all the recent media coverage of high profile cases, this is an opportunity to ensure that employer perspectives are part of the review. Employers will be able to help the review understand what happens in these often complex cases, when they go wrong, the many occasions when concerns are investigated and managed well and how systems and processes can be improved.

Next steps

The NHS Employers organisation will be taking a pro-active role with the review to ensure we represent the employer perspective throughout. We also encourage you to get involved to ensure the end result is something which reflects the many sides of this complex issue, puts patients first and develops recommendations that add value to the challenging task ahead, in increasing the confidence and highlighting the responsibilities of staff to raise concerns in a timely way.

We know there are great examples in the NHS of organisations dealing effectively with both the raising of concerns and ensuring timely feedback to staff. We also know that there has been a huge amount of activity over recent years to improve the confidence of staff to raise concerns. We have some of these examples on our raising concerns webpages alongside other resources for employers such as the guidance and communications materials which you can download and use locally.

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