Health board launches whistleblowing service


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NHS Highland has unveiled ‘Speak Up Listen Up’ as a new whistleblowing process is launched across Scottish health boards.

The National Whistleblowing Standards and the full Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) service, covering the whole of NHS Scotland, started on April 1. This is designed to be the final stage of a new process for anyone raising concerns about patient safety or other harm across the Scottish NHS.

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 system aims to help people raise concerns as early as possible while 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.

To encourage everyone to feel confident about raising concerns, the clear message from NHS Highland is to please ‘Speak Up Listen Up’.

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.

Whistleblowing means raising a concern in the public interest, 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.

Albert Donald, NHS Highland’s independent whistleblowing champion, explained: ‘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.’

If you are involved in delivering an NHS service and are worried about something that could cause harm, you can email or call 0333 733 8448 from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm).

The Guardian Service remains available 24/7 to support and advise NHS Highland employees on a range of issues, including work grievances, via 0333 577 5955 or by email.