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

Case study

  • Date:
  • Category:
    Potentially malicious concern


A manager is approached by a nurse who says that they would like to initiate the whistleblowing procedure for concerns that they have about their ex-partner – who is also a nurse within the organisation.

It is well known within the team that these two nurses have recently undergone an acrimonious split after being in a long-term romantic relationship.

The nurse informs the manager that they believe their ex-partner may have come into work intoxicated on the morning following their split.

The manager is concerned that the nurse is only raising these concerns as a way of attacking their ex-partner.  However, the whistleblowing procedure states that investigations must focus on practices or procedures that are unsafe or inappropriate.  Therefore, regardless of the motivations of the whistleblower, the manager must determine whether the concern is well-founded.

The manager logs a stage 1 concern, and looks into whether there was any evidence or cause for ongoing concern.  There is no evidence of any ongoing cause for concern, and the whistleblowing concern is closed.  The nurse that raised the concern is informed of this outcome, and reminded of the need to raise concerns promptly and appropriately, so action can be taken to reduce risks.  The manager considers the impact of the relationship break up on the nurses’ working relations, and explores this separately with both nurses.

Updated: January 9, 2020