More accountability for poor practice in NHS and social care


New whistleblowing phone line helps frontline staff

By Charlotte Fantelli

A new ‘whistleblowing’ helpline has been launched to help NHS and social care staff raise concerns about poor patient care.

2011 saw new guidelines for exposing patient neglect and abuse,  whistleblowing is now the duty of healthcare professionals and this new service means members of staff can raise concerns about any aspect of patient care without reprisal.

‘Many times I have seen patient neglect or poor management lead to bad care, but I have not been able to do anything for fear of losing my job, or at very least making my working environment very difficult’ Sally Jones, nurse, told MentalHealthy.

‘I would definitely use this service if it means I can do my job of looking out for patients without fear of repercussions.’ She concluded.

We have often reported on the neglect facing patients, the most recent of which shows damning reports into dementia care, it is hoped that the strategies and services in the new NHS Constitution will make it easier for frontline staff to report failings, create more accountability, and most importantly will impact on standards of care nationwide.

Secretary of state for health, Andrew Lansley said: "Staff on the frontline know when patient services need to improve. That's why staff who blow the whistle are crucial in helping to raise standards, and we’re determined to support them.

“Making it easier for staff to challenge the institutional power of organisations is a key factor in preventing, identifying and tackling pockets of culturally poor practice.”

The helpline 08000 724 725 operates weekdays between 8am and 6pm and a similar system is being set up for whistleblowing online. 

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