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Is the word 'Whistleblowing' taboo?

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It's #SpeakUpMonth in the #NHS so why isn't the National Guardian Office using the word whistleblowing?

After all it was the Francis Review into whistleblowing that led to the recommendation for Speak Up Guardians.

I believe that if we don't talk about it openly and use the word 'WHISTLEBLOWING' we will be unable to learn and change.

Whistleblowing isn’t a problem to be solved or managed, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. So many genuine healthcare whistleblowers seem to be excluded from contributing to the debate, and yes not all those who claim to be whistleblowers are genuine. The more we move away for labelling and stereotyping, and look at what's happening from all angles, the more we will learn.

Regardless of our position, role or perceived status, we all need to address this much more openly and explicitly, in a spirit of truth and with a genuine desire to learn and change.


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Edited by Steve Turner

Great to see this problem on someone's agenda! For many years I've been appalled by the dreadful injustice meted out to healthcare workers who whistleblow for the sake of patient safety. Patients (too often) are also afraid to speak out - those who do so simply meet brick walls.

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Thank you. I agree.

I think it's sometimes forgotten that when staff fail to speak out, are unable to speak out or are silenced & victimised for speaking, out it falls on patients, careers and relatives to do this. At great cost, because by this time someone has usually been harmed.



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Thanks Steve. Once I had started speaking out about healthcare matters (30-odd years ago!) I felt freed to  say what needed to be said - on behalf of patients and also professionals. It's ongoing.


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Dear Steve Turner.

[Charlotte Leslie MP: "My Father is a Doctor and it is known if you lift your head above the parapet you can expect not to have a job the next day." (Recorded and paraphrased from Radio 5 live interview).

Now, I am about to blow your socks off Steve.

I posted an article in "Communities" you should read "Ward-patient eQMS ...." 24.11.2020.

End WB with an Industrial H&S  error recovery protocol combined with an eQMS

WB's doing the right thing solved with software and patient tagging acknowledgement of interventions.

I would really appreciate your response.

Derek Malyon.


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Thanks Derek, I think you have hit on a critical issue and a solution. As a community nurse, someone who is keen on interdisciplinary working & patient empowerment I'd like to see ways in which this approach can be adapted and adopted to work outside hospitals. I'm sure it can be.

Time for the #NHS to truly modernise and focus on patients safety, and patient involvement,  in IT projects.

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