New scheme launched to help NHS whistleblowers
A nationwide pilot to help NHS whistleblowers back into work is being launched today by NHS England.
The Whistleblowers Support Scheme will offer a range of services including career coaching, financial advice and mediation for primary care staff who have suffered as a result of raising concerns about NHS practice. Working Transitions has been appointed to run the pilot until March 2018.
The scheme has been designed with the help of former staff who have also had experience of whistleblowing and the impact it can have on staff.
Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England, said: “It is simply inexcusable that talented, experienced staff should be lost to the NHS as the result of raising the legitimate concerns that help the health service improve.
“We have already implemented new measures in the wake of the Francis report and this scheme further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring openness and transparency are welcomed in the NHS.”
Today’s announcement is part of NHS England’s work in response to Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up report which highlighted that “some individuals who have raised concerns experience severe difficulties when seeking re-employment in the health service. This means they are effectively excluded from the ability to work in their chosen field.”
Those taking part in the programme will be contacted by Working Transitions who will arrange for them to have an occupational health assessment and meet their coach. They will then design a package of support that means their specific needs.
Tracy is one person that knows first-hand about blowing the whistle. She said:
“In 2010 my career as an HR Director in the NHS came to a very abrupt end after I raised concerns. None of my previous career experience or skills prepared me for what was about to follow and led to me becoming extremely ill and eventually being diagnosed with PTSD.
“The experience affected me hugely. Not only due to the fact that I lost a career I loved but the response and the treatment I received was brutal and still goes on to this day. That treatment had a significant impact on my health and is something that I still receive treatment for seven years on.
“I was lucky however. I had two amazing daughters that despite only being 13 and 14 at that time responded with a maturity and compassion that not only makes me so proud but provided amazing support and gave me something to carry on for. In addition I also came across the organisation Patients First who provided considerable support.
“It was through Patients First that I heard about the work NHS England is doing on the Whistleblowers Support Scheme and NHS England were looking for whistleblower input so I agreed to help.
“It was a massive leap of faith for me to consider working in the NHS system again, especially with my condition, yet I desperately wanted to do something useful and help others who are still even to this day finding themselves in difficult situations for doing the right thing.
“Although it is in the pilot stage I only wished there had been such a scheme for me seven years ago. I have no doubt there will be changes and improvements as a result.”
Lynne Hardman, CEO of Working Transitions said: “Working Transitions is very proud to have been selected to support this important initiative. Over the last twenty five years we have supported around 750,000 people, from widely diverse situations, to overcome barriers and move forward with their careers. We are looking forward to playing a key role in ensuring that all participants achieve success.”
The pilot will be evaluated by Liverpool John Moores University to help shape the scheme in future.
Latest News from
New NHS measures to improve eye care and cut waiting times30/05/2023 15:25:00
The NHS recently (28 May 2023) published new clinical guidance which could reduce waiting times for eye care services for patients in England.
Tennis star Sir Andy Murray OBE backs ‘parkrun for the NHS’30/05/2023 14:15:00
Britain’s most successful male tennis player, Andy Murray, is encouraging people across the UK to take part in ‘parkrun for the NHS’ to celebrate the NHS’s 75th birthday and to take steps towards a more healthy, active lifestyle.
Sara Hurley, the Chief Dental Officer for England, to stand down26/05/2023 10:15:00
Sara Hurley, the Chief Dental Officer for England is standing down after eight years in the job to focus on her new roles as a Non-Executive Director at Surrey Heartlands ICB and as an independent director at the University of Suffolk.
World-first NHS test to curb transfusion side-effects for thousands with inherited blood disorders23/05/2023 14:15:00
The NHS is set to introduce a new genetic blood-matching test for thousands living with sickle-cell disease or thalassemia that could reduce painful side-effects of transfusion treatments.
Government meets target one year early to recruit primary care staff22/05/2023 11:17:00
The government has delivered on its commitment of recruiting 26,000 more primary care professionals – such as dieticians and paramedics – in GP practices.
NHS hits three million spring boosters19/05/2023 15:05:00
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has vaccinated almost half of those eligible with a spring booster a month after the campaign’s formal launch.
Government meet target 1 year early to recruit primary care staff18/05/2023 14:22:00
The government has delivered on its’ commitment of recruiting 26,000 more primary care professionals – such as dieticians and paramedics – in GP practices.
NHS rolls out new ‘lifeline’ combination therapy for hundreds of women with womb cancer18/05/2023 13:10:00
Hundreds of women with advanced womb cancer in England are to be offered a new ‘lifeline’ option from today, as the NHS rolls out a life-extending new combination therapy that can halt the progression of the disease for twice as long as chemotherapy.