Minister announces launch of HSC Raising a Concern in the Public Interest (Whistleblowing) Framework and Model Policy

Date published: 01 March 2024

Health Minister Robin Swann announced the launch of the HSC Raising a Concern in the Public Interest (Whistleblowing) Framework and Model Policy.

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This follows Departmental engagement with Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies and Trades Unions to develop a revised regional policy in relation to Raising a Concern in the Public Interest (Whistleblowing).

This revised framework continues work that was undertaken in response to recommendations made as a result of a review of the operation of Whistleblowing arrangements within HSC organisations, carried out by RQIA.

The Minister said: “A successful health and social care sector is dependent on the trust that patients and their families place in organisations to provide a high standard of service. Patient safety is vital to the provision of care and so it is extremely important that any staff within the service can raise concerns they have without fear of detriment.

“I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of this revised framework which will facilitate the implementation of policies and procedures within all HSC organisations to fully support staff in raising concerns in the public interest, and to ensure confidence that any concerns raised will be  properly investigated.”

The purpose of the Framework and Model Policy is to ensure that under the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (as amended) a member of staff is able to raise concerns when they believe that a person’s health may be endangered or have concerns about failure, malpractice, misconduct or illegal practice without fear of detriment or victimisation.

The Framework and Model Policy also aims to improve accountability and good governance within the HSC by assuring the workforce that it is safe to raise concerns.

A copy of the Framework can be found on the Department’s website.

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