Case study

  • Date:
  • Category:
    Moving from business as usual into the Standards
    Where business as usual has not worked


A nurse was concerned about inadequate staffing levels in the ward.

They used Datix to raise this concern several times over a period of a month as part of business as usual processes.  They were aware that the Datix reporting should have triggered contingency plans, and were concerned that this had not happened.  The nurse wrote to their senior nurse manager about these issues and to clarify if any action was being taken.

The senior nurse manager discussed the staffing issues raised with the nurse and explained what they proposed to do about the situation, including why the contingency plans had not been followed.

The nurse was not happy that no action had yet been taken, and to make sure action was now taken, they requested that the concern be treated as whistleblowing.  The senior nurse manager agreed to this approach, and that it should be considered at stage 1 of the procedure, with the expectation that the senior nurse could provide a response that would draw on the contingency plan, and set out what they would do to avoid further instances of inadequate staffing.  They also discussed the support and protection available to the nurse through the procedure.

Five days later, the senior nurse provides a response to the concern, which clarifies what action will be taken and refers the nurse to stage 2 of the whistleblowing procedure if they do not think that this concern has been resolved.

Updated: January 8, 2020