Whistleblowing Guidance for Student Nurses and Midwives
The official name for whistleblowing is “making a disclosure in the public interest”. It means that you have a reasonable and honest suspicion there is wrongdoing which affects others in your workplace (e.g. poor care, fraud, safety rules or guidelines have been broken, risk or malpractice). Generally when someone “blows the whistle” they are raising a concern about a danger or illegality that affects others (e.g. clients, members of the public or their employer). The person blowing the whistle* is usually not directly, personally affected by the danger or illegality (HMSO, 1998; Public Concern at Work, 2014; Scottish Government, 2011). Consequently the whistle-blower rarely has a personal interest in the outcome of the investigation with their concern.
*Importantly the whistle-blower is raising the concern so that others can address it.
This is different from a complaint where the individual is seeking redress for themselves (e.g. grievance or bullying and harassment) and has a vested interest in the outcome. The individual, therefore, is directly involved in the process and in presenting the evidence to support the concern. In this situation the whistleblowing guidance would not be the most appropriate route for dealing with such a concern. If you are making a complaint regarding personal ill treatment, in these circumstances, you should follow your university or employers complaints procedure.
In some situations, it may be difficult to make the distinction between a complaint and whistleblowing and advice should be sought from an appropriate source such as your University (e.g. Personal Tutor or Programme Leader).
Terms used within the Whistleblowing Guidance for Student Nurses and Midwives
Flow Chart for Student Nurses and Midwives_Practice Learning Concern_v3 April 15.pdf
Whistleblowing Flow Chart for Student Nurses and Midwives_version 2.2 Jan 15.pdf
Whistleblowing _Reporting Form_ENU_confidential_v2.pdf
Whistleblowing and Guidance for Student Nurses and Midwives_January 15_v3.1.pdf