9. Any other comments?
Question 7: Do you have any other comments to make on the proposals for the introduction of the role of INO?
Four main themes emerged from additional comments made by respondents.
1. Much support was expressed for the proposals but a recurring view was that for the INO role to be effective and credible there required to be clear support and commitment shown by the Scottish Government and relevant Boards. Respondents emphasised the importance of the INO being seen as independent with appropriate powers and adequate resourcing.
2. Several respondents sought further clarity over roles and relationships. The need to avoid duplication with other roles and systems was re-iterated with a few respondents requesting that greater emphasis be placed on utilising local resolution mechanisms before resorting to the INO.
Calls were made for the establishment of very clear role expectations and boundaries for the INO with these easy to understand for service users, carers and the wider public.
More detail was requested on the relationship and links between the INO and the non-executive whistleblowing champions; with existing arrangements such as PIDA and the NHSScotland Confidential Alert Line; and with existing professional regulators.
3. A further theme was that of ensuring that whistleblowing is presented in a positive and constructive light. Suggestions were made for changing terminology to enable this, for example, replacing "complaints" with "concerns", which some considered would also help to differentiate more clearly between private matters and public issues.
4. A few respondents recommended elements of review and evaluation processes to support the introduction of the INO role. Lessons learned from England and consistency between England and Scotland were suggested by one respondent; the establishment of a formal review framework by another; and impact assessments to support implementation were also proposed.