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
Health and Social Care Secretary announces bureaucracy-busting drive25/11/2020 13:10:10
The new drive seeks to empower frontline health and care staff by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and locking in positive change seen during the pandemic.
Busting bureaucracy for people working on the frontline24/11/2020 16:10:00
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke at the NHS Confederation’s NHS Reset Conference about a new strategy to reduce bureaucracy.
Test to Release: England introduces testing strategy for international arrivals24/11/2020 13:12:00
Tests will be at the cost of the traveller to protect the capacity of NHS Test and Trace.
Government welcomes the MHRA review into Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine24/11/2020 10:10:10
UK’s independent regulator to evaluate latest data from Pfizer and BioNTech to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine meets the standards required.
New UK Government Covid testing site opens in Glasgow23/11/2020 16:10:00
The UK Government has opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at St Francis Community Centre in Glasgow.
Homecare workers to be tested weekly for COVID-1923/11/2020 12:10:00
Care workers looking after people in their own homes will be offered weekly coronavirus tests as of today, the government has announced.
Homecare workers to be tested weekly for COVID-120/11/2020 15:20:00
Care workers looking after people in their own homes will be offered weekly coronavirus tests from Monday, the government has announced.
Thousands more health workers to benefit from visa extensions20/11/2020 12:22:00
More than 6,000 frontline health workers will have their visas extended for a year for free, including doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Free flu vaccinations rolled out to over 50s from December20/11/2020 11:20:00
People aged 50 to 64 will get free flu vaccine from 1 December as part of expanded flu vaccination programme this winter.