Raising Concerns/Whistleblowing

If a student or employer has concerns about the performance of any of the training team, it is good practice for there to be a simple reporting policy which is outlined below so that everyone knows who to speak to and what will be done.

Raising concerns about the performance of a colleague

All of us at one time or another have concerns about what is happening at work. Usually these concerns are easily resolved. However, when you are troubled about something that affects patient safety or professional conduct, it can be difficult to know what to do.

You may be worried about raising such an issue, perhaps feeling that it’s none of your business or that it’s only a suspicion. You may feel that raising the matter would be disloyal to colleagues or to the practice. You may have said something but found that you have spoken to the wrong person or raised the issue in the wrong way and are not sure what, if anything, to do next.

This policy aims to enable everyone to raise concerns safely, as early as possible and in the right way. This practice encourages you to raise your concerns and is committed to dealing with them in a responsible, open and professional way. To provide the best care for our patients, we need to protect the interests of our patients, our staff and the practice. If you are worried about something, please raise it when it is just a concern rather than waiting for proof.

Your Safety

Anyone who raises a genuine concern under this policy will be supported and protected from any adverse consequences or reprisals. You will not be at risk of losing your position on the course. If you are acting in good faith, it does not matter if you are mistaken or if there is an innocent explanation for your concern. We will not ask you to prove anything. We do not, of course, extend this assurance to someone who maliciously raises a matter they know to be untrue and we will take disciplinary action.

Anonymous Concerns

It is in the interests of the training centre that concerns can be raised openly and dealt with fairly and professionally. If you do not tell us who you are, it will be much more difficult for your concern to be investigated and for us to protect your position or give you feedback. Although we will consider anonymous reports, our policy is not suited to concerns raised anonymously.

How we will handle the matter

Once you have told us of your concern, we will investigate the matter and interview relevant individuals to assess initially what action, if any, should be taken. This may involve an informal review or a more detailed investigation. We will maintain records of every stage of the investigation and give you as much feedback as we properly can. We may not be able to tell you the precise action we take if this would infringe confidentiality.

Please let us know at the outset if you have any personal interest in the matter. If your concern falls more properly within the grievance or another procedure, we will tell you.

How do you raise a concern?

  • At the induction evening the students and mentors are given a verbal explanation of our pathway to discuss any concerns.
  • Our PowerPoint presentation is put onto our website for them to download and store all of the contact details. We have 3 separate people for the students to contact however it is usual for the tutor to be the first point of contact.
  • A student would usually raise a concern by emailing the tutor or by speaking to them before or at the end of a lecture. The tutor will always ask if any student wants to speak to them individually at the end of a lecture. If the tutor has concerns about a student’s progress the same process is followed where the tutor will discuss it with the student initially.
  • A private tutorial is held with the student which is documented and signed by the tutor and student. An agreed action plan is made.
  • The tutor will then contact the practice via the mentor either by email or by phone to discuss any issues if appropriate. A plan is agreed if needed to make the necessary changes. All e-mails are documented and saved in the students files.
  • The tutor will let the student know of the outcome of the response from the practice where required.
  • The tutor will follow up and check that the student’s concern has been resolved.
  • This process can be repeated as needed.
  • If there is a serious concern that cannot be resolved in this way, the course director would be informed and would decided on the next step depending on the nature of the concern. Likewise if the tutor cannot resolve the issue they may also involve the director to help decide on the next step.

If you are unsure about whether or not to raise a concern or you want advice at any stage, you can contact Public Concern at Work on 020 7404 6609 or www.pcaw.co.uk. Their lawyers can give you free, independent, confidential advice at any stage.

Date reviewed: October 2019

Date to be reviewed: October 2020