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Whistleblowing is an important facet of the ability of all organisations to safeguard children, young people and adults with care and support needs. A renewed focus on whistleblowing has come from the Francis Report into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. Click here to find out more about this inquiry and its findings.

It provides protection for any member of staff (whether paid or voluntary) who raises a concern about policy, procedure or practice (of individuals or the organisation or service as a whole) which impacts on the safety and / or wellbeing of anyone using the service. The protection is from being treated unfairly or losing their job.

The 'whistleblower' must first have used the everyday channels within the organisation to raise their concerns. If their concerns have not been addressed through the normal safeguarding channels, they can then seek protection for raising their concerns in good faith (i.e. not maliciously to get at another member of staff) under the organisation's 'whistleblowing' policy.

Whistleblowing normally involves the 'whistleblower' by-passing the normal reporting routes and raising the issues with more senior managers, the organisation's governing structures, or even to an external body. Each organisation's whistleblowing policy will clarify the ways in which this should be done. 

You should be aware of your own organisation's whistleblowing policy, if not ask where it can be found.

NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline

The NSPCC has recently set up a whistleblowing advice line for professionals 0800 028 0285 

Click here for full information

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