NHS constitution updated

An updated NHS Constitution was published on 8th March 2012. The new version of the Constitution, which applies to England, replaces the previous version of the Constitution published in 2010. There is also an updated handbook to accompany it.

As part of a series of measures intended to highlight the importance of whistleblowing in the NHS, the updated Constitution includes:

  • an expectation that staff should raise concerns at the earliest opportunity
  • a pledge that NHS organisations should support staff when raising concerns by ensuring their concerns are fully investigated and that there is someone independent, outside of their team, to speak to
  • clarity around the existing legal right for staff to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or other wrong doing without suffering any detriment

The hope is that the above change in NHS constitution would make it easier for staff to raise concerns about poor patient care and thus create a culture of patient safety.

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