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January 2020: The following information is shared to prepare for implementation in summer 2020

Case study

  • Date:
  • Category:
    Concern involving a contractor
    Serious concern requiring Stage 2 investigation
    Staff feeling vulnerable
    Using the confidential contact


A lab technician for a national NHS contract is concerned that there is a problem with the blood tests their company carry out.  

The technician is convinced that there are problems, and say that they can provide proof of this.  They have contacted their line manager, but were given very clear indications that if they raise this issue again, they will lose their job.  Their concerns persist so they begin to explore other options available to them.  

The technician finds out more about the Standards, and realise it should be available to them.  They raise their concern with their organisation’s confidential contact, who realises the vulnerability of the lab technician.  They offer support and advice, log the concern at stage 2 of the procedure, and agree to pass information on to a senior manager, without revealing who has raised the concern.  An investigation finds fault with the product, and there is a delay to production while it is resolved.  NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) are informed of the delays.  The concern is also reported in the organisation’s quarterly and annual report to NSS on contract delivery.

The technician is informed of this outcome and is signposted to the INWO if they do not think that this concern has been resolved, or have concerns about the investigation or their treatment.

Updated: January 9, 2020