INWO update

The go-live date for the implementation of the National Whistleblowing Standards and the full Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) service will be 1 April 2021. Read more

What do health boards need to do now?

NHS boards in Scotland need to ensure that the National Whistleblowing Standards are implemented in advance of 1 April 2021.

A step-by-step guide

NHS boards need to:

  • raise awareness of the National Whistleblowing Standards and procedure at board and senior management level
  • identify executive responsibility for overseeing the procedure
  • support the Whistleblowing Champion in their assurance role
  • identify new roles and how to fill them, including confidential contact and primary care confidential contact
  • ensure IT systems are being prepared for recording and reporting of concerns
  • set up governance arrangements for reporting of concerns from within the board and from its partner providers
  • liaise with staff side reps with these changes
  • consider training needs for all staff and for managers and develop staff training plans, incorporating INWO training modules (available on Turas Learn from January 2021), alongside local training e.g. procedure for logging concerns.
  • ensure communications teams develop proposals for sharing information with staff
  • primary care leads need to ensure providers are aware of their responsibilities and develop appropriate policies and systems, and
  • contract managers need to ensure their contractors are aware of their responsibilities and develop appropriate policies and systems.
  • contact the INWO team for advice, support and information.

Compliance self-assessment for NHS providers

The National Whistleblowing Standards (the Standards) come into force on the 1 April 2021. From that date onwards, all NHS providers delivering services on behalf of the NHS in Scotland must have a whistleblowing policy and procedure in place that complies with the Standards.  This must be accessible to all staff, students and volunteers providing services on their behalf. 

We have produced a compliance self-assessment checklist which includes a comprehensive list of the key requirements from the Standards and enables providers to check that their policy and procedures are compliant. 

Download compliance self-assessment checklist for NHS providers now.


Updated: January 5, 2021