The NHS England guidance (link below) has just been published and is also available at this link:
The underlying principle is of course laudable but needless to say means yet more bureaucratic box ticking for practices and the ironies over unsafe working conditions and bullying cultures appear to be completely lost on NHS England and DH.
GPC was consulted on this earlier in the year and again needless to say little of its comments were taken on board. The guidance suggests that there is still some work to be done on the issue of who the Freedom to Speak up guardians will be for practices. Interestingly here LOCs and LDC s are explicitly mentioned but no explicit LMC reference- just a general mention of local representative committees. I assume this is an error but have asked for clarification from NHS England. However I do not believe that this is a role that LMCs should take on as they will be too conflicted. I shall be talkingto the CCGs about this locally. I also note that NHS England will be talking to various bodies to progress the issue of appointing local guardians and I have suggested to GPC that it too must be involved in these discussions.
Whilst this is only guidance rather than any change in contractual regulations there is a contractual obligation, as with all relevant guidance, for all practices to have “regard” to it and, needless to say, CQC will also take a very keen interest. I would therefore urge everyone to read it carefully and ensure appropriate processes are in place. I have asked GPC to urgently produce guidance for practices on the document and I hope this will be available shortly.
Click here to download the document "Whistleblowing Guidance".
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