At the beginning of 2020 we shared the National Whistleblowing Standards with colleagues across NHS Scotland, and the SPSO started work to support implementation. Unfortunately the COVID-19 crisis has significantly disrupted this work, as colleagues across the NHS have rightly been focusing on dealing with the pandemic. Given the understandable disruption to NHS services, the Scottish Government wrote to all boards on 30 March 20 to confirm that this programme was one of a number of work programmes that they were pausing.
As NHS services are restarting, we are keen to pick up on the whistleblowing work with boards. We are aware that some boards have already been taking steps since the pandemic to prepare themselves for implementation. We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Scottish Government to ensure that the launch of the INWO and implementation of the Standards comes at a suitable time and takes into account both the pressures caused by the pandemic and the usual pressures the winter season presents.
We expect to announce a revised date for implementation soon, but to be clear, it will not be July 2020 as originally advised.
In the meantime, we look forward to hearing the views of NHS boards and supporting them and other stakeholders as they prepare for implementation.