Whistleblowing

Reference: SCR-1e

Last Updated 10/05/2021

Whistleblowers benefit from important legal protections. Although we’ve summarised some of the most important facts about whistleblowers, you can find more detail in our guidance (including the legal criteria for being a whistleblower) here.

Whistleblowing is when a worker, including a student nurse, student midwife or student nursing associate, raises a concern about wrongdoing in the public interest.

Whistleblowing can occur within an organisation or, if the worker feels they’re unable to do this, to someone outside their organisation known as a ‘prescribed person’. ‘Prescribed person’ is a legal term. The NMC is named as a prescribed person in the law.

Whistleblowing is not the same as raising a concern, but many workers who raise concerns with us will be whistleblowers. Examples of whistleblowing concerns are allegations relating to criminal offences or that an individual's health or safety is being endangered.

When considering whistleblowing concerns in screening, we’ll always act according to our legal obligations to whistleblowers. This will include giving very careful consideration to a whistleblower's request that their identity shouldn't be disclosed. The law does not compel us to protect the confidentiality of a whistleblower. However, we recognise that it is best practice to maintain confidentiality unless required by law to make a disclosure.

The guidance in our library, needs to be read alongside our NMC Guidance during the Covid-19 emergency period. We have new rules that are in force during the period of  the coronavirus emergency that are relevant to how it applies.

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