A whistle blower is an employee, a former employee or member of an organisation (especially a business or agency) who reports misconduct to people or organisations that have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action.

It is good practice, and staff have a duty of care, to draw attention to bad/poor practice in the workplace. This includes practice that may cause harm, be abusive and/or neglectful. Failure to report amounts to collusion with the person alleged to have caused harm or the abuse.

Staff who work with adults at risk have an individual responsibility to raise concerns with someone who has the responsibility to take action. Sometimes it may be necessary to go outside the immediate work environment or immediate organisation.

It is the responsibility of all organisations to comply with the statutory duty of candour and promote a culture which values good practice and encourages whistleblowing. Each organisation should have its own policy/guidance about whistleblowing that is easily available for staff to read; staff must be made aware of these policies.

If you have concerns but you aren’t sure how to raise them or want advice about good practice, you can call the NHS and Social Care Whistleblowing Helpline on: 08000 724 725. They can advise on the whistleblowing process but they aren’t a disclosure line.

Last reviewed: October 19, 2023 by James

Next review due: April 19, 2024

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