You may have concerns about what is happening where you work. When the concern feels serious because it might affect people receiving care, colleagues or your whole organisation, it can be difficult to know what to do.

You may feel that raising the matter would be disloyal to colleagues, to managers or to your organisation. However, everyone working in health and social care has a duty to follow their professional code of conduct, and put the people they care for first and protect their safety. We would always encourage you to try to resolve any concern you have within your organisation first. This is the recommended course of action.

But if you feel unable to do this, or feel your voice is not being heard, you can speak to someone who is independent of your organisation.

What can I do?

  1. If you see an unsafe practice, risk or wrongdoing, can you tackle it yourself, there and then? A firm, polite challenge is sometimes all that is needed
  2. Talk to your line manager about the problem if possible, or someone senior in the organisation
  3. If you do not feel able to raise your concern with your line manager or other management, consult your own organisation’s whistle-blowing policy and follow that
  4. If you have tried all these, or you do not feel able to raise your concern internally, you can raise your concern in confidence with various organisations, one being the CQC

Is it confidential?

People who raise concerns through the whistle-blowing procedure are understandably sometimes concerned about their position, and wish to maintain confidentiality. People are encouraged to disclose their names and contact details when they raise their concern, because it is often difficult to conduct an effective investigation without being able to discuss it fully with the person who first brought the issue forward. In practice, it is often desirable for the identity of the whistle-blower to be known as the investigation progresses.

However, it is understood that some individuals may not be comfortable with what is known as ‘open whistle-blowing’, so the option is always available to keep your identity confidential unless it is required to be disclosed by law, or unless you have given permission. If you wish your details to maintain confidential, organisations should always seek to do so.

Who do I contact?

Your employer – if you work for HomeCareDirect this would be your Independent Living Advisor on 0845 061

Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 03000 616161

Whistleblowing helpline for NHS and Social Care on 08000 724725