NHS Staff offered help and advice in reporting malpractice

NHS GRAMPIAN STAFF will benefit from external support should they wish to expose concerns over patient safety or malpractice.

That is the assurance being given by the Scottish Government for all health staff in Scotland on the expansion of the NHS Scotland Confidential Alert Line, which from August 1 will become the Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Services for NHS Scotland (AALS).

The new service will offer support from legally trained advisers and will help callers consider their options if they are unsure about how or whether to whistleblow, as well as passing concerns raised by staff, with their consent, to the appropriate Health Board or scrutiny body for further investigation.

Announcing the expansion Health Secretary Shona Robson said: “Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Services complement a range of policies to support a culture where speaking up in our NHS is encouraged and welcomed.

“Patient safety is paramount and I want to ensure this service continues to build confidence and trust, with an increased focus on resources and support for staff and managers.

“The service has been enhanced to include short films, toolkits and guidance to promote and encourage the kind of supportive environment we want to see, as well as awareness raising and engagement events for all staff, managers and trainees.”

Following a procurement exercise the contract has been awarded to the charity Public Concern at Work (PCaW).

PCaW Chief Executive, Cathy James OBE said: “We are delighted to retain our contract with NHS Scotland and continue offering whistleblowers advice and support. We know it isn’t easy speaking up about concerns, but we want to reassure healthcare workers our legally trained advisers are here to help.”