NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line
NHSScotland staff should be able to raise concerns about patient safety or malpractice with their line manager, HR Department or trade union representative.
If, however, there is doubt about whether or how to raise a concern or worry about doing so, confidential advice and support is available on Freephone number 0800 008 6112.
The National Confidential Alert Line for NHSScotland employees was initially launched as a pilot on April 2, 2013. This service is run by Public Concern at Work (PCaW), an independent whistleblowing charity. It provides a safe space where staff, who feel that they may be victimised as a result of whistleblowing, can raise concerns about patient safety and malpractice. Support and advice is provided by legally trained staff, and where appropriate, concerns can be passed to the appropriate Regulatory body:
NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line - Continued Service
In March 2014, Alex Neil MSP, the former Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing announced that following a successful pilot period, the NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line service was to continue.
When developing options for this service, the Scottish Government took account of a range of views gathered during the pilot period. The continued service commenced on August 1, 2014, is based on the pilot model, and has be enhanced to provide:
- More information on the outcomes of cases received, including those referred to Regulators
- A package of training measures aimed at educating management and staff on the complex issues and support mechanisms surrounding whistleblowing
- Dedicated advice on protections afforded to whistleblowers through the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998
- A mechanism to inform Health Boards of the number of cases of bullying and harassment reported through the line relating to their area
This enhancement will allow Health Boards to be alerted to potential problems in their area, allowing them the opportunity to deal more effectively with concerns before they potentially escalate. However, it remains that this service cannot investigate reported cases of bullying and harassment as these, by law, remain between the employee and employer
We have annual data about the numbers of Private and Public Interest cases from 2013-2016.
NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line – evaluation of the service
As part of the terms and conditions of contract, Public Concern at Work (PCaW), the independent whistleblowing charity contracted to provide the NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line service has provided the following evaluation reports: