FAQ for Employees

I want to report something which is going on at work, how can you help me?

We can help you to identify how best to raise your concern. However we are not a disclosure line. A good starting point would be to obtain a copy of your organisations whistleblowing policy. Have you reported what is concerning you to anyone at your work place?

I have recently witnessed something bad at work, but I don’t know who to tell?

Many organisations will have a whistleblowing policy, which will identify how to raise whistleblowing concerns. If you speak with the HR department or to your trade union representative, they will be able to show you this policy. The policy will usually identify a specific person who you can speak to. Professional bodies, such as The Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Medical Council, British Medical Association, Health professional Council and General Social Care Council all have policies regarding the disclosure of information.

I have concerns, but I am worried that if I say anything, my employer will think I am a trouble maker.

There is a legislation which protects people who raise concerns at work (the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998). The law is clear that your employer cannot dismiss you or take any disciplinary action against you, just because you raise a concern. However, you will only be protected if you raise the concern in the correct way.
Is everything I tell you confidential?
Yes, you can speak to us in confidence. We do not record calls, however we do keep a record of your call to assist if you do call us back and also to help us measure and monitor the quality of our service. We will only reveal what you have told us if you give us permission to do so, unless (and this is a very extreme circumstance) we are legally required to do so.

Should I collect any information before I raise a concern?

If you decide to raise a concern you must have reasonable belief that it is a genuine concern and is true to the best of your knowledge. The law does not require you to have hard evidence, any information that you have would be useful, however you must not undertake any fact finding or conduct any investigations.
I have a confidentiality clause in my contract; does this mean that I cannot raise a concern?
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1988 protects workers making disclosures, even if they have signed confidentiality clauses. However there are a few exceptions.

I have no confidence that my employer will do anything about what I say. I know that the services are inspected, so can I report them to the inspector?

We would always recommend that you try to resolve the issue internally first. Of this is not successful it is worth knowing that organisations who provide health and social care are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You can call, write or email them to let them know about your concerns. We can send you information on how to do this.

I have raised my concern with my manager, but nothing has been done and no-one has got back to me.

Your employer should feed back to you, regarding the steps that have been taken following on from you raising your concern. They have to feed back to you, even if no further action is being taken.[/expand

I have thought about contacting the police, as I think they would be interested, but I don't want to give my name.You can contact the police, although they can only investigate and take action where there is criminal activity. Proving that there is a crime can take a long time and requires a very high standard of evidence. If you make an anonymous allegation, then it may be difficult for the police to carry out their enquiries.

The wrongdoing I am concerned about is common at my workplace and everyone is expected to do it. Will I be in trouble because I have been involved?

In these circumstances you should seek legal advice before you proceed any further. Have you got access to advice e.g. through your trade union etc? If you do not, then the whistleblowing helpline may be able to assist you, we have people who are qualified to give legal advice and could arrange for you to speak to them.

I do not work in health or social care services who should I speak to?

Many sectors have professional bodies affiliated to them. If you are a member of a professional body, you can contact them and ask them if they have a whistle blowing procedure. We can find your professional body if you do not have the contact details. If you are not a member of a professional body you may wish to consider contacting the relevant regulatory body, who will be able to guide you on what steps you will need to take.

I have seen the whistleblowing policy, but I don't really understand what it means?

Have you asked someone from your HR department to help? Perhaps your trade union could help you? If there is no one to help you locally, you could send the document to us and we can support you to understand what you need to do.