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These web pages feature the approved and published National Whistleblowing Standards, as agreed with the Scottish Parliament.  The Standards are also available as downloadable PDFs.

Who to raise a concern with

There should always be several options for raising concerns.

  • people can raise a concern with their line manager or team leader
  • they can raise their concern with a more senior manager if circumstances mean this is more appropriate
  • organisations should have a confidential contact that people can raise concerns with (in some places there may also be speak-up ambassadors or advocates)
  • large organisations should also provide a single phone number and email address for raising concerns.

Whoever receives it, each concern must be taken seriously and handled in line with the Standards.

Any organisation that provides NHS services in Scotland must provide access to a confidential contact.  This could be a contact within the board, with another service provider, or through an independent service with which the organisation has a contract. 

Each board must have clear arrangements in place so people know who to approach if they have any concerns about senior management or board members (further information is available under Governance).  These arrangements must be agreed with the whistleblowing champion, and must be available to staff, including through their confidential contact.

Anyone who wants to raise a concern about senior management must be able to discuss the most appropriate course of action with the board’s confidential contact or other speak-up representative.  They will be able to suggest the appropriate action to take, or pass on the concern, based on their assessment of the situation and the approach the person would prefer to take.

The arrangements within primary care, and for students and volunteers, may be slightly different. We have further sector specific information available here.

Concerns about fraud within the NHS can be raised directly with NHS Counter Fraud services.  There is more information about this service at https://cfs.scot.nhs.uk/.  However, if someone with a concern about fraud wants to ensure access to these Standards they should first raise it with their confidential contact, or other appropriate manager.  Details of any potential fraud must be passed onto the board’s fraud liaison officer within two working days (in line with existing arrangements between the CFS and NHS boards).  The fraud liaison officer will pass on these concerns to NHS Counter Fraud Service. 

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Updated: July 20, 2021