Whistleblowing helpline extended to social care staff22nd December 2011
The whistle-blowing helpline for NHS staff is being extended to staff and employers in the social care sector from the start of 2012.
A new number – 08000 724 725 – has also been set up, which encompasses all of the elements of the current helpline service and is free, independent and confidential.
The service, currently funded by the government, will change to a free-phone service provided by the Royal Mencap Society.
Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring said: “This initiative will give NHS staff and social care workers the confidence to report abuse or raise concerns about patient and service user safety without fear of victimisation or personal reprisal.
“As an organisation that supports vulnerable people we take whistleblowing very seriously and understand the importance and the need for this essential service.”
The helpline is open weekdays from 8am-6pm with an out-of-hours answering service available at weekends and on public holidays and a web-based service is also being developed.
NHS Employers organisation welcomed the support from Mencap while the Social Care Institute for Excellence said it was important that staff were able to discuss issues and concerns over safeguarding adults at risk.
Care Quality Commission chief executive Cynthia Bower said health and care professionals had a responsibility to raise concerns if they believed that patients or service users were being put at risk.
While a first course of action is to raise concerns within an organisation, she said it was reassuring to know that other options were open to staff and that was why the helpline was so important.
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Title: Whistleblowing helpline extended to social care staff
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 20657
Date Added: 22nd Dec 2011