Every organisation that delivers NHS services must have a procedure that is in line with the Standards, in time for ‘go live’. That date had originally been planned for summer 2020, however the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused understandable disruption to NHS services, and the Scottish Government and SPSO therefore agreed the revised go-live date to be 1 April 2021. This new date takes into account the pressures of the winter season on the NHS in Scotland as well as the significant risk of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
By the go-live date, any organisation providing an NHS service should have procedures in place that enable their staff, students, volunteers and others delivering health services, to access the National Whistleblowing Standards. The INWO will then be able to investigate complaints about concerns that have been through the local whistleblowing process.