Whistleblowing in the NHS: independent review

‘Freedom to speak up?’, an independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS, has now concluded.

The review, chaired by Sir Robert Francis QC, provided independent advice and recommendations to ensure that:

  • NHS workers can raise concerns in the public interest with confidence that they will not suffer detriment as a result
  • appropriate action is taken when concerns are raised by NHS workers
  • where NHS whistleblowers are mistreated, those mistreating them will be held to account

The review considered independent mediation and appeal mechanisms to resolve disputes on whistleblowing fairly.

The review engaged closely with individual NHS workers who said they have suffered detriment as a result of raising legitimate concerns, as well as with employers, trade unions, professional and system regulators and professional representative bodies.

Terms of reference

Read Terms of reference (PDF, 71.7KB, 1 page)

The review did not re-open a case or comment upon any judicial findings.

Advisers from the NHS and other fields chosen for their experience and knowledge in the relevant areas supported the review.

The review completed its work in November 2014.

More information about the Freedom to Speak Up is available on the National Archive website.