Unison Call For Changes to Hospital Whistle Blowing Laws


This branch supports unison’s call for a change in whistleblowing laws.  The current laws are too narrow and not fit for purpose.

Our employer is currently using their whistle Blowing policy to look at concerns raised by individual and groups of staff (including many Unison Members) but the laws are they are and employers policies do not stand up to true whistleblowing and can make it more difficult rather than easier for staff to have concerns answered.

Members of the branch executive have recently had training about the Francis Report and how to ensure the Trust Executive & Managers are compliant with their responsibilities to care.  The whistleblowing policy is just one part of this.

Look out for a UNISON Survey for members and non-members – Being sent to you and delivered to your work areas soon!

We will be shortly sending surveys to members within the Mental Health Trust to find a snap shot of how they are currently find their working practices and pressures within their roles.

UNISON calls for change to hospital whistleblowing laws

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, has called for a change to whistleblowing laws in the NHS to make sure that all staff are able to report concerns with confidence.

In a report that examines the overall lessons that should be learnt from the Francis, Berwick, Keogh and Cavendish investigations into the NHS, UNISON has made a number of key recommendations that it believes will help to change the culture in the NHS.

The union says that its recommendations will ensure that staff are engaged, valued, listened to and ultimately able to deliver better standards of patient care.

Click here to read Unison Head of Health, Christina McAnae’s opinion …

“It is essential that ALL staff in the NHS across grades and occupations, have a voice and are listened to. There is an urgent need to reassure patients that staff are confident to raise concerns and that those concerns will be dealt with.

“NHS Trust Boards should have to take account of staff views and have a designated board member responsible for these issues. Leaving it up to individual members of staff is just not good enough – it should be made easier for unions to raise issues on behalf of groups of staff and ensure they are protected from harassment and bullying.

“The best NHS organisations have robust, effective partnership working with the trade unions at the heart of their business.  That directly leads to better patient outcomes.  The Government should commit to ensuring the NHS achieves this universally and drops it ill-conceived reforms. ”

The union’s recommendations include:

A change to the whistleblowing legislation to enable groups of staff to raise the same concern and receive the same protection as though they were individuals.

To commit to safe staffing levels, including the introduction of a minimum nurse:patient ratio of 1 nurse to 4 patients.

To place greater emphasis on long-term improvements to patient care rather than a short-term approach to arbitrary cost-cutting targets.

To commission and commit to real staff and trade union engagement including looking at research and different models of how that can be achieved.

To designate a non-executive board member responsible for patient satisfaction and staff engagement.