The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 to give protection from victimisation and make it unlawful to dismiss individuals who have made a "protected disclosure" in the public interest. The Act sets out a simple framework to promote responsible whistle-blowing.
Whistle-blowing may be described as a process of reporting matters of malpractice regarding patient/service user care, service provision, use of resources or environmental issues that have not/are not being dealt with adequately by other processes.
Any employee at one time or another may have concerns about what is happening at work. Usually these concerns are easily resolved. However, when they are about unlawful conduct, financial malpractice, fraud and corruption, or concerns about the quality of patient care, it can be difficult to know what to do.
This policy enables employees to raise concerns about such malpractice at an early stage and in the right way. The organisation would rather that employees raised any matter when it is just a concern than wait for proof. This would be in the best interests of patients and carers in the longer term. This includes not only employees but also contractors providing services, agency workers and trainees on vocational and work experience schemes.