The National Whistleblowing Standards set out how the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) expects all NHS service providers to handle concerns that are raised with them and which meet the definition of a ‘whistleblowing concern’.
These Standards are underpinned by a suite of supporting documents, which provide instructions on how the INWO expects concerns to be handled. Together these documents form a framework for the delivery of the National Whistleblowing Standards.
The Standards consist of:
The principles underpin and drive how concerns raised by staff or those working in NHS services are handled. They also include definitions of whistleblowing and whistleblower.
Definitions and explanations of what is a whistleblowing concern, who can raise a concern, and a description of the procedure for handling these concerns.
- Information for NHS boards and staff on their own responsibilities, requirements regarding recording and reporting concerns and expectations for external contractors.
Supporting information setting out how the INWO expects the procedure to be applied, together with the governance arrangements that must be in place.
The Standards are applicable across all NHS services. This means that they must be accessible to anyone working to deliver an NHS service, whether directly or indirectly. This includes current (and former) employees, bank and agency workers, contractors (including third sector providers), trainees and students, volunteers, non-executive directors, and anyone working alongside NHS staff, such as those in health and social care partnerships.
Sector specific information
Specific instructions are also provided for:
Primary care providers
Information about what the INWO expects of primary care services and contracted services, and how this should be achieved.
Health and social care partnerships (HSCPs)
Information about the expectations in relation to joint working arrangements between local authority and NHS staff.
Organisations involved in providing student and trainee placements
Information about the expectations relating to students and trainees raising concerns.
Arrangements for volunteers
Information about how volunteers should be given access to the Standards.
It is anticipated that the Standards will be reviewed three years after implementation, to identify any potential improvements or amendments.