What is whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the raising of a concern, either within the workplace or externally, about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing which affects others.
If you have a safeguarding concern you can and should advise Care Point on 01243 642121 and /or police as appropriate. The whistleblowing process can continue separately or in conjunction with this alert.
West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board is committed to ensuring best practice and protection for all the adults in this region.
Supporting and empowering staff to report concerns is an essential part of keeping our vulnerable adults safe.
Whistle-blowing do’s and don’ts
- Keep calm
- Think about the risks and outcomes before you act
- Remember you are a witness, not a complainant
- Phone Public Concern at Work (PCaW) for advice: 020 3117 2520
- Forget there may be an innocent or good explanation
- Become a private detective
- Use a whistle-blowing procedure to pursue a personal grievance
- Expect thanks
Every organisation faces the risk that something will go badly wrong, the first people to know of the risk will usually be those who work in or with the organisation
Whistleblowers can provide an additional safeguard for patients or service users, where organizations are failing to act on concerns.
Most organisations providing services to vulnerable people are required to have a whistle-blowing policy and procedures.
A whistle-blowing system essentially allows staff to bypass internal systems if they feel that overall management is engaged in improper conduct. This could include situations where a staff member feels serious abuse by other staff is not being addressed by management. In some cases this can be referred to as ‘institutional abuse’.
Ask to see your organisations/agencies whistle-blowing procedures.
Where concerns are held about a vulnerable adult regarding malpractice or misconduct in a workplace or by employees of an organisation/agency, those concerns should in most circumstances be raised with the organisation/agency involved. This provides workers with the greatest degree of protection and the employer with a chance to address the concerns.
However, there may be some circumstances where the person feels at risk of being victimised, dismissed by their employer or has good reason to believe that the employer will not take the appropriate action, i.e. having already raised concerns with the employer and received an unsatisfactory response. The provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 may protect a person for raising concerns outside the workplace providing:
- The disclosure is made in good faith
- The disclosure is substantially true
- The disclosure is not made for personal gain
- There is good reason to believe that they would be victimised, that a cover-up would occur or that the matter has already been raised
For more information on whistleblowing visit www.gov.uk/whistleblowing/what-is-a-whistleblower.
If you do not want to whistleblow to your employer you can contact a prescribed person or body
With acknowledgment to Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Adults Board from whom this information has been adapted.