Whistleblowing

14 February 2021


In NES we support a culture where speaking up is encouraged. Any employee (former or current), bank or agency worker, contractor, trainee, student, volunteer or non-executive director can raise a whistleblowing concern. A whistleblowing concern may arise when there is a risk of harm or wrongdoing. The risk of harm or wrongdoing may:

  • Have happened, is happening or is likely to happen
  • Affects the public, other staff or the organisation itself
  • Is not being actively addressed by other processes (or appears not to be)

We want all staff, trainees, contractors and volunteers to feel comfortable raising issues of concern and confident that those issues will be investigated fully and impartially. Nobody will be unfairly treated for raising a concern, for having a whistleblowing allegation made against them or for cooperating with any investigation.

Please see here for the draft National Whistleblowing Standards - the final version is expected when SPSO take on their statutory responsibilities for the new Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) arrangements. 

NES Whistleblowing Policy.

How do I escalate a concern about serious malpractice?

We hope that you will feel able to tell your line manager in the first instance. If for whatever reason you are uneasy about this or your manager’s response doesn’t seem right, you should contact. Donald Cameron (Director of Planning and Corporate Resources). If you want to talk to him in confidence, just say so. If you prefer to put it in writing, that’s fine but please tell him who you are.

If you want confidential advice first, you can talk to your local trade union representative. You may also call the independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work (external site) on 020 7404 6609 (or the Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Service on 0800 008 6112).

What is the Confidential Alert Line number?

The Confidential Alert Line can be reached on 0800 008 6112 and they will handle your call following the Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Service: Call Flow

What do I do if something wrong or dangerous is happening at work?

If you are worried that something wrong or dangerous is happening at work, please don’t keep it to yourself. Unless you tell us about any concerns you may have about patient or staff safety risks, or other wrongdoing, the chances are we won’t find out until it’s too late.

See the NES Whistleblowing Policy.

As some of you may be nervous about raising such matters, here are some tips:

  • Raise it when it’s a concern – we won’t ask you to prove it;
  • Keep it in perspective – there may be an innocent explanation;
  • It will help us if you can say how you think things can be put right;
  • Stay calm – you’re doing the right thing; and
  • If for whatever reason you are worried about raising it with your manager, please follow the escalation guidance

National Whistleblowing Standards Training

E-Learning modules on the National Whistleblowing Standards are available at: https://learn.nes.nhs.scot/40284/national-whistleblowing-standards-training

This training is for all staff who work on behalf of the NHS in Scotland, including students, contractors and volunteers.  The National Whistleblowing Standards come into force on 1 April 2021.