Intended for healthcare professionals


Francis report recommends a whistleblowing guardian in every NHS organisation

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 12 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h828
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

UK legislation will be introduced to protect NHS whistleblowers from discrimination when they seek fresh employment, the health secretary has announced. Jeremy Hunt said that the necessary regulation making powers could be on the statute book in this parliament, with opposition support.

The move came after a recommendation in a wide ranging review of whistleblowing in the NHS that called for urgent, system-wide action.1 Widespread fear among NHS staff to speak up about concerns is threatening patient safety, the review by a senior barrister, Robert Francis QC, concluded. It recommended the adoption of 20 principles to create “an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS” and an action plan to make sure that concerns are heard and investigated properly.

Hunt said that the government accepted in principle all of the recommendations and would consult on Francis’s proposals for a …

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