Scheme to help NHS whistleblowers back into work

NHS whistleblowers are to be offered career coaching and financial advice as part of a pilot scheme to help them back into work.

The Whistleblowers Support Scheme will offer personalised help to staff who have suffered as a result of raising concerns about NHS practice.

Those seeking help will be assigned a coach and will have access to mediation services as well as a range of other advice and support. Launched by NHS England, the pilot was set up with input from former whistleblowers and will be run by Working Transitions until March 2018.

The programme is part of NHS England’s response to Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to speak up report which found that “some individuals who have raised concerns experience severe difficulties when seeking re-employment in the health service. This means they are effectively excluded from the ability to work in their chosen field.”

NHS England chair Sir Malcolm Grant said: “It is simply inexcusable that talented, experienced staff should be lost to the NHS as the result of raising the legitimate concerns that help the health service improve.

“We have already implemented new measures in the wake of the Francis report and this scheme further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring openness and transparency are welcomed in the NHS.”

At the end of the pilot phase, the scheme will be assessed by Liverpool John Moores University to help shape the scheme in future.

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