Department of Health
Government to extend protections for NHS whistleblowers
NHS whistleblowers will be better protected by new rules that prohibit discrimination against them if they seek re-employment in the NHS.
Plans published today will prohibit discrimination against whistleblowers when they apply for jobs with NHS employers. The plans also strengthen the legal recourse whistleblowers can access if they believe they have been discriminated against because they appear to have blown the whistle - with appropriate remedies if their complaint is upheld.
These changes were a recommendation from Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up review, which found a number of people struggled to find employment in the NHS after making protected disclosures about patient safety.
The consultation, Protecting whistleblowers seeking jobs in the NHS, which opened today, seeks views on the draft regulations that aim to:
- give the applicant a right to complain to an employment tribunal if they have been discriminated against because it appears they have previously blown the whistle
- set out a timeframe in which a complaint to the tribunal must be lodged
- set out the remedies that the tribunal may or must award if a complaint is upheld
- make provision as to the amount of compensation that can be awarded
- give the applicant a right to bring a claim in the county court or the High Court for breach of statutory duty in order to, among other things, restrain or prevent discriminatory conduct
- treat discrimination of an applicant by a worker or agent of the prospective employer (NHS body) as if it was discrimination by the NHS body itself
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
Today we move another step closer to creating a culture of openness in the NHS, where people who have the courage to speak up about patient safety concerns are listened to, not vilified. These welcome changes will prohibit whistleblowers being discriminated against when they seek re-employment in the NHS, ultimately ensuring staff feel they are protected with the law on their side.
This furthers the Health Secretary’s aim to create an NHS that supports staff to raise patient safety concerns and welcomes those who have done so in the past.
Have your say on the draft regulations - the consultation is now open and will run for 8 weeks, closing on 12 May 2017.
Latest News from
Department of Health
Government launches call for evidence to improve health and wellbeing of women in England08/03/2021 16:10:00
Women are being encouraged to share their experiences of the health and care system via a call for evidence aimed at improving healthcare for women.
Free rapid tests for all businesses for regular workplace testing08/03/2021 12:10:00
All businesses in England are now able to sign up to the government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme.
£79 million to boost mental health support for children and young people05/03/2021 12:05:00
Millions more children and young people will have access to significantly expanded mental health services, backed by £79 million.
New specialised support to help those living with obesity to lose weight05/03/2021 10:10:10
Children, adults and families will be better supported to achieve and maintain a healthier weight through £100 million of new government support.
Final findings from February COVID-19 REACT-1 study published04/03/2021 11:20:00
Findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show infections fell by two-thirds from the last REACT-1 report in January, with 1 in 204 people infected.
Our vaccination programme is a national success story03/03/2021 13:10:00
Oral statement given yesterday by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the impact of the vaccine roll-out, and efforts to contain the new variant of concern first identified in Manaus in Brazil.
Update on the Vaccine Taskforce: 1 March 202102/03/2021 14:22:00
Responsibility for the Vaccine Taskforce is to move jointly to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
New UK Government COVID testing site opens in Granton, Edinburgh01/03/2021 16:10:00
UK Government opens 33rd walk-through coronavirus testing centre in Scotland, at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre Car Park in Granton, Edinburgh.