Case ref: 202208266
NHS organisation: Lothian NHS Board
Subject: Hospitals / staffing levels
Date: January 2024
C raised concerns with the Board about the ward in which they worked. C's main concern was that the level of staffing was not sufficient to manage increasing numbers of patients and more acute presentations.
The Board undertook an investigation under the National Whistleblowing Standards. In their investigation report, the Board upheld or partially upheld C's concerns, and identified a series of recommendations to address their findings.
The recommendations were translated into an action plan that was shared with C. However, several months later, C became concerned that the Board were not following up on the action plan; in particular, the staffing issues were still a daily concern. C complained to the INWO because they were worried about the risks of harm that this created.
Following reflection on the staff to bed ratios, the Board proposed to increase the ratio in the ward. C was content that the proposal from the Board satisfactorily resolved their complaint to the INWO.
We fed back to the Board that it is important to tell the whistleblower who is responsible for any action plans, what the timescales are for delivery, and to provide regular updates on progress.
In terms of good practice, we were encouraged that the Board proactively engaged with C and took a positive approach to achieve a satisfactory resolution.
As the Board committed to a deliverable action to resolve the complaint, our decision was to discontinue the investigation in this case