Queslett Medical Centre helps protect the rights of its patients by providing a means for its employees to report any suspected malpractice, failure or malfunction at the Practice that could potentially endanger, or put at-risk, patients who use its services.
The means for the above procedure is provided through The Public Disclosure Act 1998; often referred to as the ‘Whistleblowing Act’. This Act provides protection for workers from being subjected to any detriment by their employer, and protection against victimisation and dismissal.
The Practice is committed to effectively and promptly dealing with any malpractice, failure or malfunction that occurs and has numerous policies, procedures and systems in-place to help prevent such occurrences.
The Practice follows the guidelines suggested in the revised version of the GMC document “Raising and acting on concerns about patient safety”, effective 12 March 2012, a copy of which can be downloaded here:
The Practice will not tolerate victimisation, harassment or detriment to any worker who has exercised their right and raised a concern under the Act.
The Practice will ensure that all concerns raised are taken seriously and are fully investigated.
The Practice recognises a detriment as any one of the following:
- A restriction or a denial of promotion;
- Training opportunities, or;
- Opportunities which may have been offered if a disclosure had not been made.
A malpractice, failure or malfunction which is believed to be currently occurring, has previously happened, or is likely to happen in the future will not be tolerated by this Practice, and includes such events as:
- Any criminal offence;
- Any breach of a legal obligation;
- A miscarriage of justice;
- Endangering the health or safety of any worker or patient;
- Damage to the environment, or;
- Any deliberate cover-up of information in relation to any of the above
The Practice will maintain complete confidentiality when any concerns are raised using the internal ‘Whistleblowing’ procedure.
The ‘Whistleblowing’ policy and procedure applies to the following groups of workers:
- Employees under regular contracts of employment;
- Locums and other NHS contracted workers;
- Contractors providing services;
- Temporary or dayworkers;
- Trainees on vocational and work experience schemes;
- Students on placements with the Practice.
The following procedure must be adopted when raising a concern:
- If you wish to raise a malpractice, failure or malfunction which you believe to be currently occurring, has previously happened, or is likely to happen in the future, you must inform Practice manager (in writing) of your concern;
- If the above person is the subject of the concern you should inform their immediate superior (in writing) of your concern;
- You should fully explain the nature and extent of your concern;
- Your concern will be investigated fully and promptly and you will be advised of the progress by Practice manager;
- On conclusion you will receive a written response to your concern detailing the outcome of the investigation;
- If you are not satisfied with the investigation or the outcome of the investigation then you have the right to notify the appropriate prescribed person. Practice manager holds a list of prescribed persons;
- If you believe you have been subjected to victimisation, harassment or suffered a detriment (at any time) due to you raising a concern, then this is regarded as a serious disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in-line with normal Practice disciplinary procedure;
- In the first instance you must inform Practice manager (in writing) of your detriment;
- If the above person is the subject of the detrimental behaviour, you should inform their immediate superior (in writing) of your detriment;
- A full investigation into the suspected victimisation, harassment or detriment will then be conducted.
If we conclude that you have made false allegations, whether in relation to raising a concern maliciously, in bad faith or with a view to personal gain, then you will be subject to disciplinary action.
We have put this policy in place to allow you to raise concerns internally with the assurance that this will be dealt with adequately. We feel that this should mean that you will not need to make a disclosure externally.
The law recognises that in some instances external disclosures, to a regulator for example, will be required. We strongly encourage you to seek advice before reporting a concern to anyone external. The independent whistleblowing charity, public concern at work, operates a confidential helpline (0207 404 6609). They also have a list of prescribed regulators for reporting certain types of concern.