Raising concerns

There are times at work when we may have concerns about what is happening around us.  

Usually, these concerns can be resolved easily after talking to your line manager or someone in the leadership team. In some situations, it can be difficult to know what to do. This policy is intended to help you to safely and effectively raise concerns, a process known as whistleblowing.  

Example of concerns you may want to raise include: 

  • unsafe patient care or working conditions.  

  • inadequate induction or training.  

  • lack of response to a reported patient safety incident, or a poor response to the situation.  

  • suspicions of fraud.  

  • a bullying culture across a team or organisation, rather than individual instances of bullying.  

Our whistleblowing policy has been written to give you the confidence to raise matters of concern, initially through the internal procedure or with one of the external independent bodies we refer to in this policy. The AWP Trust Board would rather you raise matters as soon as possible when it is just a concern, rather than wait for proof. Our belief is, “if in doubt, raise it.”  

Firstly, we always recommend that you try and raise your concerns as soon as possible with your manager, supervisor or mentor. You can do this informally or formally, for example as part of a team meeting, one-to-one discussion, over the phone or in writing. If you feel you can’t raise the concern with your manager, you can approach another member of the management team.  

If you feel unable to raise the matter with your manager or another member of the management team, you can raise your concern with anyone listed on the whistleblowing pages on Ourspace. Please say if you want to raise the matter in confidence so that they can make appropriate arrangements. The HR team can help if you cannot access the contact list.   

If you still have concerns after taking these steps, or if you feel that the matter is so serious that you cannot discuss it with anyone listed on the whistleblowing pages, you can also write directly to: 

Mark Outhwaite, Whistleblowing Lead at Bath NHS House, Bath BA1 3QE  

or email awp.raisingconcerns.nhs.net  

The Whistleblowing Investigation Procedure will then be followed.  

If you have raised your concern internally but feel it has not been dealt with properly, or if you feel unable to raise your concern internally, you can raise the matter with an appropriate regulator, such as the Care Quality Commission or Monitor.  

If your concern is about fraud and corruption, you should contact the Trust Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS) or NHS Fraud and Corruption Hotline on 0800 0284060.  

If you are unsure whether to use this procedure or if you want independent advice at any stage, you may contact:  

  • your trade union or professional association.  

  • the independent charity, Public Concern at Work (phone: 020 7404 6609). Their lawyers can give you free confidential advice at any stage about how to raise a concern about serious malpractice at work.  

The following links provide further advice on raising concerns: