Consultation outcome

Freedom to speak up: whistleblowing policy for the NHS

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

We’ve taken account of the consultation responses and published the final policy, which can be downloaded from NHS Improvement’s website.

The main changes to the document, following consultation, are:

  • we’ve now incorporated both ‘whistleblowing’ and ‘raising concerns’ into the title
  • we’ve retained the process of escalation but have made it clear that it is not compulsory
  • we’ve added a requirement for a review/audit of the policy (and accompanying process) at local level
  • we’ve included a reference to the role of the new Office of the National Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, which sits in the Care Quality Commission
  • we’ve extended the coverage of the policy to clarify the inclusion of governors

Feedback received

Consultation responses

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Detail of feedback received

We received 165 responses to the consultation. The majority were from individuals who were either current or previous NHS staff members. We also received responses from whistleblowing organisations, trade unions, trusts, foundation trusts and clinical commissioning groups.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to


Sets out Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) and NHS England's proposed single national whistleblowing policy.


Consultation description

In response to Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up review, Monitor, NHS TDA and NHS England are proposing to introduce a national whistleblowing policy.

We intend for the policy to be adopted by all NHS organisations in England except for primary care providers. We also hope it will be adopted by independent providers of NHS healthcare.

The policy sets out:

  • who can raise a concern
  • the process for raising a concern
  • how the concern will be investigated
  • what will be done with the findings of the investigation

We intend that NHS organisations will have their own local process that sits beneath the national policy, and reflects their own size and set up.

Provided the local process adheres to the requirements set out in the national policy, there is room for flexibility locally.

Next steps

Your feedback will help inform the final policy. We will publish a summary of the responses before or alongside the published final version of the policy.