TRAILMED LTD WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY
Author Chris Lanyon, Operations Director
Date of issue June 15, 2018
For review June 2021
Consultation and approval 21 days consultation
Whistleblowing Policy – CONTENTS
1. Introduction & Background
4. Equality Statement
5. Protection (Policy Statement)
7. Reporting Arrangements
11. Monitoring of Process
12. False Allegations
14. Audit & Review
1. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
1.1 TRAILMED LTD demonstrates its commitment, with this policy, to providing a transparent and accountable system, where staff can feel confident in raising any concerns they may have.
1.2 An important aspect of accountability and transparency is a mechanism to enable staff and other members of TRAILMED LTD to voice concerns in a responsible and effective manner. It is a fundamental term of every contract of employment that an sub-contractor will faithfully serve his or her employer and not disclose confidential information about the employer’s affairs. Nevertheless, where an individual discovers information which they believe shows serious malpractice or wrongdoing within the organisation then this information should be disclosed internally without fear of reprisal, and there should be arrangements to enable this to be done independently of line management (although in relatively minor instances the line manager would be the appropriate person to be told).
1.3 It should be emphasised that this policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to question financial or business decisions taken by TRAILMED LTD, nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under dignity at work, complaint, disciplinary or other procedures. Once the "Whistleblowing” procedures are in place, it is reasonable to expect staff to use them rather than air their concerns outside the service.
1.4 Concerns raised under the TRAILMED LTD Whistleblowing Policy will be treated seriously and sensitively and as far as possible we shall try to retain your anonymity. Where practicable, immediate steps will be taken to remedy the situation. However, the final outcome may take time to resolve depending on the issue that is raised.
2.1 This policy is designed to enable staff, volunteers and contractors to raise concerns internally and at a high level and to disclose information which the individual believes shows malpractice or impropriety. This policy is intended to cover concerns which are in the public interest and may be investigated but might then lead to the invocation of other procedures e.g. disciplinary. These concerns could include:
2.2 As ‘malpractice’ is not easily defined, the following list contains examples only and is not deemed to be exhaustive. It is the right of the sub-contractor raising the concern to use their definition of what they consider to be malpractice.
• financial malpractice, impropriety or fraud
• acting contrary to any code of ethics
• criminal activities
• creating or ignoring a serious risk to health, safety or environment
• failure to adhere to agreed clinical standards.
• failure to comply with legal obligation or statutes.
3.1 This policy applies to all individuals engaged by the Company, including those that work under a contract for services, and those supplied to do work by a third party, including volunteers, agency staff and students engaged by TRAILMED LTD .
3.2 This policy is not to be confused with action on complaints; discipline and grievances, for which there are other Company policies and procedures, which must be followed, where appropriate.
3.3 If staff are unsure whether to use this procedure or want independent advice at any stage, they may contact Public Concern at Work on 0207 404 6609 or the national whistleblowing Helpline 08000724725/ www.wbhelpline.org.uk. The lawyers at Public Concern will be able to provide free and confidential advice about how to raise a concern about serious malpractice at work, or can advise the individual on how to report a matter to the relevant external authority.
4. EQUALITY STATEMENT
4.1 The Company is committed to promoting positive measures that eliminate all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of age, marriage and civil partnership, disability, race, gender, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy/maternity or any other basis not justified by law or relevant to the requirements of the post.
4.2 By committing to a policy encouraging equality of opportunity and diversity, the Company values differences between members of the community and within its existing workforce, and actively seeks to benefit from their differing skills, knowledge, and experiences in order to provide an exemplary healthcare service. The Company is committed to promoting equality and diversity best practice both within the workforce and in any other area where it has influence.
4.3 The Company will therefore take every possible step to ensure that this procedure is applied fairly to all sub-contractors regardless of ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality; gender (including marital status); age; disability; sexual orientation; religion or belief; length of service, whether full or part-time or engaged under a permanent or a fixed term contract or any other irrelevant factor.
4.4 Where there are barriers to understanding; eg, a sub-contractor has difficulty in reading or writing, or where English is not their first language, additional support will be put in place wherever necessary to ensure that the process to be followed is understood and that the sub-contractor is not disadvantaged at any stage in the procedure. Further information on the support available can be sought from the Directors or Management Team.
5.1 The protection afforded by this policy applies to all individuals engaged by the Company, including those that work under a contract for services, and those supplied to do work by a third party, including volunteers, agency staff and students engaged by TRAILMED LTD who disclose such concerns provided the disclosure is made:
5.2 In good faith, enabling individuals who are faced with an exceptional or wholly abnormal situation, to raise that concern without fear of retribution.
5.3 Where individual members have concerns about the ethical practice of someone within the Company, eg, mistreatment of patients; financial malpractice; abuse in care; dangers to health and safety; failure to comply with any legal obligation and concealment; abuse of subordinates and abuse of position, they are encouraged to come forward and raise their concerns.
5.4 The Company believes it is in the interest of the organisation that individuals feel able to raise issues so that action can be taken.
5.5 Individuals that do come forward to raise genuine concerns are assured that they will be protected against any detrimental actions from their colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
5.6 The Company takes the issues concerning ethical practice very seriously and recognises that it is necessary for individuals to be able to raise their concerns in the appropriate manner as set out in this procedure.
5.7 Individuals are assured that their concerns will be addressed without the identity of the individual raising the concerns being disclosed in the first instance.
5.8 Confidentiality will be respected, however, anonymity cannot be guaranteed if any matter should result in subsequent legal or disciplinary action.
5.9 In the event of a formal case being made, then the identity of the individual raising the concern may be required to be disclosed. Where confidentially cannot be maintained this will be fully discussed with the member of staff concerned.
5.10 The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1988 (PIDA) creates a framework for whistle blowing across the private, public and voluntary sectors. The Act provides every individual in the workplace with protection from victimisation where they raise genuine concerns about malpractice in accordance with the Act’s provisions. The most readily available protection under the Act is where a worker, who is concerned about malpractice, raises the issue within the organisation or with the person responsible for the malpractice. The intended effect of this provision is to reassure workers that it is safe and acceptable for them to raise such concerns internally.
6.1 The Company Board has the ultimate responsibility for taking all measures within their power to ensure the Whistle blowing Policy is implemented TrailMed Ltd.
6.2 The Operations Director is responsible for the Whistleblowing Policy, ensuring that all appropriate measures are taken and that a copy of the Company’s Whistleblowing Policy documentation is accessible to all staff.
6.3 It is the responsibility of all Managers to ensure that a copy of this policy is kept within the department/workplace, kept up to date and is readily available to staff.
6.4 It is the responsibility of all sub-contractors of TrailMed Ltd to acquaint themselves, and comply, with the Company’s Whistleblowing Policy.
6.5 All individuals should recognise the importance of the earliest possible action being taken to deal with situations where it is believed that there is a danger to patient care, abuse of patients, financial malpractice, health and safety, etc.
6.6 Senior colleagues have the responsibility to take seriously all concerns and to act on them quickly.
7. REPORTING ARRANGEMENTS
7.1 Individuals are encouraged to use this internal procedure first and are therefore requested not to take concerns outside the Company other than as stated in this procedure, eg in the event of suspicion of fraud, bribery or corruption (refer s10 below).
7.2 There should be evidence or reasonable belief that suggests a colleague's actions are inappropriate or a threat to patients, or the Company, before a report is made to the relevant manager.
7.3 All individuals should make their concerns known in writing, in the first instance. For those individuals who would like assistance in completing written documentation, they should seek help either from their staff representative or The Directors.
7.4 Individuals wishing to use this procedure may bring a friend, colleague or trade union representative (not acting in a legal capacity) along to any interviews that may be arranged.
7.5 Step One
7.5.1 If you have a concern about possible malpractice etc, we hope you will feel able to raise it first with your team lead or director as appropriate. This should be done formally and may be either orally or in writing.
7.5.2 In particularly sensitive cases, or where it is not appropriate to raise the matter with your team lead, the matter should be addressed to the Operations Director Mr Chris Lanyon.
7.5.3 Please say if you wish to raise the matter in confidence so that they can make appropriate arrangements.
7.6 Step Two
7.6.1 If Step One has been followed and you still have concerns, or if you feel that the matter is so serious that you cannot discuss it with any of the above, please raise the matter with the Managing Director Mr Jonathan Davies.
7.7 Step Three
7.7.1 If the channels above have been followed and you still have concerns, or if you feel that the matter is so serious that you cannot discuss it with any of the above, please contact:
7.7.2 The Care Quality Commission
Online reporting at https://www.cqc.org.uk/ or 03000 616161
7.7.3 The Health Care Professions Council
http://www.hcpc-uk.org/ or 0300 500 6184
8. SELF REPORTING
8.1 Where an individual believes that their own actions have been inappropriate or they pose a threat to patients, they should raise this in accordance with Steps 1-3, above.
8.2 Where the individual feels they are unable to raise the matter with the appropriate Manager, the matter should be raised with the appropriate member of the Board of Directors
8.3 An initial investigation will be carried out to establish whether there appears to be a case of unethical or illegal practice.
8.4 If appropriate, the individual may be assigned different duties while the initial investigation is undertaken.
8.5 While the investigation is ongoing, the individual will be offered support by an appointed TrailMed lead.
9.1 Where it appears that there is a genuine case, the appropriate manager will investigate all valid concerns thoroughly and as soon as practicably possible.
9.2 In the event of a referral directly to a Director to conduct a preliminary investigation, another appropriate individual can be appointed to carry out the investigation on his or her behalf. This may be particularly necessary, for example, with health and safety issues, where specialist knowledge is required.
9.3 Where the concern relates to a worker engaged by an agency, including those that work under a contract for services, and those supplied to do work by a third party, the appropriate manager must ensure that the agencies are informed of any concerns that are not satisfactorily resolved. (concerns raised under this policy by any staff about external agencies contracted to TRAILMED LTD)
10.1 As a result of the preliminary investigation, the relevant manager decides what further action, if any, is appropriate. If no action is required both the staff member who raised the concern and the member of staff involved should be informed that no further action is to be taken.
10.2 If a formal action is required, the manager (or appropriate person) will take appropriate measures to resolve the matter. The individual raising the concern will be informed that the matter has been investigated and that the Company is taking the appropriate steps to resolve the problem.
10.3 If an individual remains concerned that action has not been taken to protect the Company or patients at risk, they may raise their concerns to the next step(s), until they feel that a satisfactory resolution is achieved
11. MONITORING OF PROCESS
11.1 The investigating manager holds responsibility for monitoring the situation until the matter is resolved.
11.2 All ‘closed’ files should be retained centrally, in accordance with Data Protection regulations, by the Managing Director.
12. FALSE ALLEGATIONS
12.1 All staff are reminded that to victimise or deter someone from raising a legitimate concern is regarded as a serious offence and will be dealt with under the Company's Disciplinary Policy and could result in dismissal from the Company.
12.2 If a member of staff raises an allegation falsely, or with malicious intentions, this will be regarded as a serious offence and will be dealt with under the Company's Disciplinary Policy and could result in dismissal from the Company.
12.3 If it is agreed that action is required under the Company’s Disciplinary policy following the self reporting of an incident, the Hearing Manager will take into consideration the individuals actions in bringing the matter to the attention of the Company when determining if any sanction is to be imposed
TrailMed Paramedic Lead- Mr Neil Gray, 07971 983288 firstname.lastname@example.org
TrailMed Safety Lead- Mr Mark Price, 07866 690941 email@example.com
Operations Director- Mr Chris Lanyon, 07551 982533 firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Director- Dr Patrick Musto, 07802 443570 email@example.com
Managing Director- Mr Jonathan Davies, 07540 186731 firstname.lastname@example.org
14. AUDIT & REVIEW
14.1 The effectiveness of this policy will be reviewed annually during the Company’s Clinical Governance meeting, after which any necessary amendments will be made.
14.2 The Operations Director will keep a record of the formal proceedings and resulting investigations that are made. These will include the names of the people involved, dates, the nature and frequency of the incidents, actions taken and follow-up information.
Informal proceedings will also be recorded in the same way, where it is possible to do so.
Storage and handling of – and access to – this information will meet the confidentiality requirements of the GDPR 2018.
14.3 The Company will take appropriate action where the results of monitoring indicate trends/highlight problem areas within the organisation.
14.4 This Policy will be reviewed every three years.
Chris Lanyon BSc (hons) Cert HE MC Para
Operations Director, TrailMed Ltd
15 June 2018