“The freedom to speak up is vital for patient safety and public protection”

Published on 11 February 2015

The NMC has welcomed Robert Francis’s review into whistleblowing in the NHS: Freedom to Speak Up.

Nurses and midwives have a duty within the NMC Code to raise concerns about issues that risk patient safety. As the professional regulator, the NMC expects all nurses and midwives, no matter their job title or where they work, to uphold the Code and to prioritise patient safety.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

"We want a health and care sector where all staff can safely raise concerns in the best interests of their patients. The freedom to speak up is vital for patient safety and public protection.

“We will take careful account of the review’s findings and recommendations. We are reviewing the policies and procedures that we have in place to make sure they provide the help and support that whistleblowers need when they speak out against a fellow nurse or midwife’s practice.”

The revised NMC Code, which will come into effect next month, is clear about nurses and midwives responsibility to raise any concerns they have about patient safety and act on concerns raised on them. They must not obstruct, intimidate or victimise those who wish to raise concerns.

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