Whistle Blowing Policy

Policy

The formal phrase for “blowing the whistle” is Public Interest Disclosure. It is a legal right to which the law offers you protection for doing so. Its purpose is to protect the interests of those in our care where error has gone unchecked; therefore, it is not “betrayal”. For staff acting in good faith and not seeking personal gain out of the situation, the law is on their side and it is illegal for the company to cause any detriment to the individual who raises any legitimate concern. You do not need to have all the facts to prove your concern but you will have a reasonable belief that a wrongdoing is either happening now, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future.

 A copy of the Department of Health document ‘No Secrets’ is available for perusal by staff.

Procedure

  • You must act without delay if you believe that you, a colleague or anyone else may be putting someone at risk

  • You must inform someone in authority if you experience problems that prevent you working within this policy

  • You must report your concerns in writing if problems in the environment of care are putting people at risk

  • As a professional, you are personally accountable for actions and omissions in your practice, and must always be able to justify your decisions Speaking up on behalf of people in your care and clients is an everyday part of your role, and just as raising genuine concerns represents good practice, ‘doing nothing’ and failing to report concerns is unacceptable.

 

If you experience a reprisal within your workplace after raising a concern appropriately, you should contact a senior member of staff, ACAS or the Care Quality Commission for support and advice. This policy is applicable to a wide range of situations. Examples may include:

  • Danger or risk to health and safety, such as health and safety violations

  • Issues regarding staff conduct, such as unprofessional attitudes or behaviour, including concerns related to equality and diversity

  • Issues regarding care delivery involving health professionals or other staff members

  • Issues related to the environment of care in the broadest sense, such as resources, products, people

  • Staffing or organisation-wide concerns

  • Issues related to the health of a colleague, which may affect their ability to practise safely

  • Misuse or unavailability of clinical equipment, including lack of adequate training

  • Financial malpractice, including criminal acts and fraud

Where staff have concerns relating to safety or health dangers at work, where there may be oversight relating to legal obligations, care standards or practices, etc. they should approach a manager and be prepared to document their findings with a signature. If you witness or suspect there is a risk to the safety of people in your care and you consider that there is an immediate risk of harm, you should report your concerns without delay to the appropriate person within your organisation. The Registered Manager will then choose the most appropriate course of action.

In the event of suspected abuse of a vulnerable person, social services will be contacted initially. If the situation warrants, the Registered Manager may approach the police directly. No investigation of alleged abuse will be undertaken by the company without the guidance and approval of the social services department or police.

In relation to health and safety issues or oversights relating to legal obligations, care standards or practices, the Registered Manager will initially investigate within 72 hours. The Registered Manager shall, within the period of 28 days, notify the staff member of the outcome of the investigation.

If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the staff member, the concern should be addressed to the Operations Manager in writing.

In the event that the staff member is not satisfied with the action taken in relation to the concerns raised, these concerns should be directed to the Managing Director of Connaught Resourcing Ltd. Subsequently, if the staff member remains unsatisfied with the action taken or response they have received they are entitled to take the matter to a legal representative, CQC or other government officer. The staff member is not obliged to notify the company should they have good grounds for not having notified the Registered Manager, Operations Manager or the Managing Director of Occupational Personnel Services Ltd first.

Conversely, if you are complaining about how you personally have been treated at work (such as conditions of employment) and are seeking resolution for yourself. In these circumstances, you should follow the company grievance procedure.

OPS - Whisle Blowing Policy PROCESS[3].j