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Explain how and when to escalate any concerns you might have (whistleblowing)

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is an important responsibility that all employees have.

It is the act of reporting any safety concerns, poor practices or illegalities in the workplace.

This is an important part of professional practice as it acts as an early warning sign, highlights serious issues, protects service users (and others) and improves services.

However, ‘blowing the whistle’ can be a daunting step for employees. Therefore organisations usually have a whistleblowing policy that explains the process and reassures employees that their job will not be at risk if they make a report.

How to escalate your concerns

In most cases, concerns should be reported to your line manager.

In cases where you are uncomfortable approaching your line manager (perhaps if you are reporting bad practices by them), you would report to another manager or the next level of seniority in the hierarchy.

The whistleblowing policy will highlight exactly who you should report to, how a concern will be escalated, and the investigation process.

If you feel that your organisation has not dealt with your concern appropriately or taken it seriously, you may need to report it to an external agency such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Care Quality Commission (CQC) or even the police. Your organisation’s whistleblowing policy should state that there will be no reprisals for employees that report genuine concerns to external agencies.

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