Whistleblowing - how someone can report a problem in healthcare service

It is possible to raise concerns about patient or client care if you are a professional working in a health care practice or adult social services. This website provides information on how to go about raising issues about patient or client care.

Someone who works in health services or in adult social care may be worried about harmful medical work practices or a lack of care provided by other workers. If you have reason to suspect that a patient's or client's safety is in danger, or that their care or dignity is being jeopardized, you have a professional obligation to report your concerns as soon as possible. This is referred to as "whistleblowing" on occasion.

Some examples:

- The National Health Service (NHS)

According to the General Medical Council's standards for ethical behavior, clinicians should never make a sexual move toward a patient or engage in sexual behavior with a patient. Unwanted sexual behavior, such as making inappropriate sexual remarks, does not always imply physical contact with the patient. If a patient informs you that their sexual boundaries have been violated, or if you have other grounds to think that a coworker has engaged in sexual behavior with a patient, you should report your concerns to someone or an organization that can investigate the allegation as soon as possible, according to the guidelines: If you have reason to believe a practitioner has conducted sexual abuse or other illegal action, you should report it to the authorities.

- Adult social care

While you work at an assisted housing project, you notice that your colleague is wearing the same pair of gloves throughout her shift and does not wash her hands between duties. This puts the client's safety at jeopardy, and you have a professional obligation to express your concerns about it.

Is Whistle-blowing an Ethical Act Practice?

Whistleblowing ethics is a complex issue. Fairness and loyalty are at odds when someone blows the whistle. Fairness and justice can collide with loyalty, for example; Betraying the trust of colleagues who have committed misconduct. Risking one's reputation by being compelled to act differently from what you feel is right, natural, or normal.

Working in an organization that encourages unethical activity.

A person's responsibility to behave responsibly and be accountable for one's activities, including addressing misconduct in the overall interests of the business and its stakeholders, should always take precedence over loyalty. Responsible people blow the whistle when they think silence will cause more harm than good. A good whistleblower behaves ethically if they sincerely believe they are protecting the interests of the public. They are ready to face the repercussions of their acts.

To be ethical requires guts and the conviction that honesty is the foundation of ethical decision-making. A potential whistleblower is determined to stand firm even when persuaded to remain silent.

From a personal standpoint, it may seem odd to show allegiance to a bureaucratic organization made up of so many distinct people. In this dehumanizing climate, whistleblowers may lose their feeling of obligation and desire to report.

As long as the whistle-blower is certain that their intentions are good and that they have confidence in the system, they should not hold back such information and ought to be satisfied that they are assisting in the creation of a more ethical organization environment for all stakeholders, who benefit from fairness, integrity, obligation, and responsibility.

Businesses owe an obligation to the public to act on information provided by whistleblowers, or face negative consequences.They are also accountable to their industry's governing organisations and regulatory agencies.

If you're told to cover up a crime, what do you do?

A disciplinary offense is committed when you are ordered to cover a wrong doing by someone who has the authority to do so. Should anyone, especially someone in authority such as a supervisor, tell you not to discuss or reply back on any concerns you have, you should refuse to do so. You should report the incident in accordance with the policies and procedures of your company or professional organization.

If you voice your concerns, will you be protected by the law?

When you express an issue, you are legally protected from being harassed or intimidated by others. If you're reporting something that has the potential to harm a patient, you shouldn't be unfairly treated. Essentially, this means that your employment and future possibilities for promotion or training shouldn't be jeopardized because you have expressed a genuine concern, provided that you do so in an appropriate manner. Any forms of victimization committed against you should be treated as a disciplinary offense by your company.

If you are victimized as a result of disclosing a concern, you may be able to file a claim with an employment tribunal.

How to raise a concern?

Concerns should be raised with your direct supervisor or a senior manager, but your workplace will provide assistance. Many companies have a policy about how to address issues. This policy can be obtained via Human Resources or your union rep. The policy normally specifies who to contact.

The policy will state if you are able to raise issues anonymously. They won't likely ignore a complaint even though you want to remain anonymous, but it will be easier to examine and address your issues if you identify yourself. You can request anonymity, but there could be limitations. Any issue made should be fully investigated quickly and anonymously, and the results conveyed to you, even if no measures are implemented. If your chief concern is anonymity then consider using a whistleblower app like that provided by The Xono Platform to safely report any nefarious activities.

Legal advice

If the misconduct you're worried about is widespread, it's possible that everyone, including you, will be required to participate. Once you've been engaged in the misconduct yourself, you need to consult with a lawyer before proceeding any further with your investigation. Your labour union or organization should be able to assist you.

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