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NHS Employers supports NHS organisations to promote a climate of openness and dialogue in which staff feel free to raise concerns in a reasonable and responsible way, without fear of victimisation.

Latest news

July 2008

New Publicity Available Specification from the British Standards Institute (BSI and Public Concern at Work (PCaW)

The British Standards Institute (BSI) and Public Concern at Work (PCaW) – the independent authority on public interest whistleblowing – have developed a new standard for whistleblowing which is available as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for individual use as a download from BSI and PCaW.

The PAS sets out good practice for the introduction, revision, operation and review of effective whistleblowing arrangements. The document has been developed to be of assistance to organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors. The recommendations are of particular relevance to public bodies where there is an expectation, regulatory or legislative, that effective whistleblowing arrangements are in place. It is informed by UK whistleblowing legislation, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA).

The PAS does not claim to include all the necessary provisions of a contract. Trusts are responsible for its application and should be aware that compliance with its recommendations does not necessarily confer immunity from legal obligations.

Whilst it has been developed jointly by PCaW and the British Standards Institute it is not to be regarded as a British Standard.

Public Concern at Work

NHS Employers advises employers on the correct procedures to follow to report suspected offences. We work closely with the independent whistleblowing body, Public Concern at Work, to support the development of whistleblowing policies and procedures in the NHS.

Public Concern at Work runs a helpline for NHS staff, providing direct access to lawyers. Telephone 020 7404 6609 or email

Whistleblowing guidance for GPs

The Shipman Inquiry report made further recommendations on whistleblowing, and NHS Employers issued relevant guidance to GPs following publication of the inquiry report: 'Whistleblowing for a healthy practice; whistleblowing guidance for GPs'.

The pack, which was distributed to all GPs, highlights the importance of whistleblowing, legal requirements, and offers advice on how to implement a whistleblowing policy as part of clinical governance and patient care. It includes case studies for discussion with staff and a poster outlining who staff can contact if they want to raise a concern.

Copies of a policy pack issued by the DH to NHS trusts in July 2003 can be obtained via the NHS Response Line on 08701 555 455.


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