GPs told to appoint whistleblower 'guardians' by September

Every GP practice must appoint its own 'freedom to speak up guardian' and update its whistleblowing policies by September next year, according to NHS England guidance.

NHS England has told all GP practices to ‘update their local policies and procedures’ to align with new guidance on supporting whistleblowers by September 2017.

This includes appointing their own ‘freedom to speak up guardian’ so that staff can share any concerns and receive support. This individual must be independent of the management chain and not be the direct employer.

It adds that practices should be proactive in preventing any inappropriate behaviour, like bullying or harassment, or discrimination towards staff who raise concerns.

GP practice guidance

The final Freedom to speak up in primary care guidance was formalised this week by NHS England after taking into account feedback from a five-week consultation period beginning in April.

It follows on from the earlier publication of Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to speak up report, which he recommended should be adapted especially for primary care, where smaller work settings can present challenges around anonymity and conflicts with employers.

Neil Churchill, NHS England director for patient experience, said: ‘Safety in primary care depends on listening to, and acting on, concerns raised. This new guidance will help ensure that if someone witnesses a risk to patient safety, they can speak out without reprisal and confident that effective action will be taken.

‘A safe NHS is an open and honest NHS where we routinely learn from mistakes and use that learning to improve patient safety.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Dr Nikita Kanani: Why peer support is the key to building a stronger general practice

Dr Nikita Kanani: Why peer support is the key to building a stronger general practice

NHS England's acting director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani says connecting with...

Next-day GP appointments three times as likely to be missed as same-day bookings

Next-day GP appointments three times as likely to be missed as same-day bookings

Patients are nearly three times as likely to miss appointments booked with GP practices...

Outsourcing GP services overseas could be 'legal minefield', experts warn

Outsourcing GP services overseas could be 'legal minefield', experts warn

Using digital technology to outsource GP consultations overseas could leave the NHS...

RCGP sets out advice for GPs on prescribing cannabis

RCGP sets out advice for GPs on prescribing cannabis

GPs should warn patients hoping to access cannabis-based medicines that the process...

Every patient in England has access to extended hours GP appointments

Every patient in England has access to extended hours GP appointments

Every patient in England now has access to extended hours GP appointments, NHS England...

GP at Hand takes down video that sent 'wrong message' about antibiotics

GP at Hand takes down video that sent 'wrong message' about antibiotics

GP at Hand has removed a promotional video from its website that showed a patient...