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Sir Robert Francis QC publishes NHS whistleblowing report

11th February 2015

Sir Robert Francis QC’s report on whistleblowing in the NHS has been released and is available to read on the Freedom to Speak Up website here. The report sets out a guide to good practice in handling concerns raised by staff and recommends measures to protect staff from victimisation.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Sir Robert said:

“Failure to speak up can cost lives. I began this review with an open mind about whether there are things getting in the way of NHS staff speaking up. However the evidence received by the Review has confirmed that there is a serious issue within the NHS. This issue is not just about whistleblowing – it is fundamentally a patient safety issue.

The NHS is blessed with staff who want to do the best for their patients. They want to be able to raise their concerns, free of fear that they may be badly treated when they do so, and confident that effective action will be taken. Unfortunately I heard shocking accounts from distressed NHS staff who did not have this experience when they spoke up.

Everyone in the NHS needs to support staff so they have the courage to do the right thing when they have concerns about patient safety. We need to get away from a culture of blame, and the fear that it generates, to one which celebrates openness and commitment to safety and improvement. If these things are achieved, the NHS will be a better place to work. Above all, it will be a safer place for patients.”

The report has been widely covered in the media, including the BBC, ITV, Guardian and Telegraph websites.


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