Describe the responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner in relation to whitleblowing.
The health and social care practitioner has a clear responsibility to report wrongdoing in practice. The practitioner should follow the policies and procedures of the setting, reporting these concerns in the suitable way, which is often to report these to the line manager. If these concerns are not acted upon, or it is not suitable to report them, then someone else should be informed such as more senior worker or an agreed person. Reporting concerns may also prevent abuse occurring, for example if staff report doubts that they may have about a colleague’s actions or behaviour.
If the practitioner has repeatedly reported their concerns and they have not been acted upon or taken seriously or no action is taken, then the practitioner should blow the whilst to external agencies. Examples of whilstleblowing also include reporting on any practices that exist in the health and social care setting that are putting individuals at risk, such as repeatedly having not enough staff on duty.
Whilst blowing can lead to a number of mixed emotions such as the practitioner questioning themselves, or asking what if I’m wrong? Or feeling loyalty towards the workplace or management. However, the safety and well-being of individual in the care of the practitioner is first and foremost and no team member should put their loyalty towards their colleagues over the protection of individuals at risk. Whistleblowers are protected by law and should not be disadvantages for reporting poor practice.
Nursing Time. Net, (2017) job profile whilst blowing; Available at: https://www.nursingtimes.net/careengland/whistleblowing-in-health-and-social-care/7010355.article Accessed on 11/12/17