Whistleblowing, or public interest disclosure, occurs when a worker reports the actual or prospective improper actions of their organisation or colleagues. The worker could disclose the improper action:

  • internally within their organisation using a set procedure

  • to one of a number of external regulators

  • more widely if neither of the other options is appropriate.

Reporting concerns outside normal channels may be necessary where attempts to report them in the past have not been successful.

This topic looks at who is covered by whistleblowing legislation, explains what qualifying and protected disclosures are, and examines what should be in place in NHS organisations in order to create an open and responsive culture where staff feel confident to speak up when things go wrong.

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