Whistleblowing and the Law
British journal of community nursing 2011 Mar; 16(3): 142-5
The Government wants to empower nurses to speak out to protect their patients without fear of being victimized or dismissed and are looking to amend the NHS Constitution to strengthen protection for staff who blow the whistle on poor practice. Currently whistleblowers are protected by the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 as amended by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This allows a whistleblower to appeal to an Employment Tribunal for reinstatement if they are dismissed or victimized as a result of their actions. The protection currently offered under the 1996 Act is not absolute and a nurse who wishes to pass on information about bad practice in the interests of their patients must be sure to follow the requirements of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and their employer's whistleblowing policy before their disclosure qualifies for protection.
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