NHS whistleblowing helpline extended to social care staffNHS whistleblowing helpline now extended to social care staff.
The whistle-blowing helpline for NHS staff has been extended to staff and employers in the social care sector from 1 January 2012.
There is also a new number for the service, which encompasses all of the elements of the current helpline service and is free, independent and confidential.
The new helpline number will be 08000 724 725.
The helpline will operate on weekdays between 08.00 and 18.00 with an out-of-hours answering service available at weekends and on public holidays. A web-based service is also being developed.
You can contact the helpline if you have concerns and are unsure how to raise them or simply want advice on best practice in safeguarding.
Members are urged to read UNISON's guidance on whistleblowing in its Duty of Care handbook (see link below)
In 2011 there was increased public concern and media focus over the quality of standards in the delivery of social care and the dignity for those receiving care.
UNISON has already highlighted the lack of social care funding, creating pressure on the current care work delivery model and making it too prescriptive due to labour intensive costings, the focus of the Care Quality Council on the registration of providers rather than developing a more robust Inspection regime and the need to invest in a skilled and trained care workforce.
“Standards of training, safeguarding, whistle blowing and “duty of care” issues are not being addressed due to lack of adequate funding, robust safeguarding and inspection procedures and training provision. Both care workers and service users need more support in these areas.”We are pleased that in response to these concerns the NHS whistle blowing free phone has now been extended to social care workers.
(UNISON report December 2012)
Please find below information and a new telephone number that social care staff will now be able to use from January 1st 2012 to assist in whistleblowing.
You can use the helpline to get assistance if you have concerns but are unsure how to raise them or simply want advice on best practice.
Please note that UNISON has recently updated its guidance on Whistleblowing and advises members to seek advice from its branch before making any disclosures.
UNISON advice on whistleblowing can be found in its guidance 'Duty of Care'. www.unison.org.uk/healthcare/dutyofcare/