Clinical Governance

Information on Clinical Governance can be found on the PSNC Website


Whistleblowing is a well-established mechanism whereby a worker can make a disclosure about a colleague’s conduct or an employer’s practice that they believe to be illegal, dangerous or negligent.

Whistleblowing can highlight organisational failings in health and safety, fraud, corruption and systemic malpractice. It is a mechanism for staff who have seen something wrong that affects others, such as patients, customers, employees etc., and wants to communicate their concerns to the right person so that something can be done. It is not a mechanism for raising or resolving employee grievances or for reporting concerns about other healthcare professionals outside of the organisation, both of which are covered through other arrangements.

The GPhC Standards of Conduct Ethics and Performance place a positive obligation on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to raise such concerns but many are unsure of what action to take and what protection is available.

A whilst-blowing policy is the document that informs staff how they could raise their concerns and what they can expect if they do.

The policy should

  • be accessible to all members of staff, including locums, contractors  and temporary staff
  • indicate what is ( e.g. systemic malpractice) and what is not ( e.g. grievances)  covered by the policy
  • give clear step- by-step guidance on how to raise a concern within the organisation, to whom that concern should be raised and include  alternatives to direct line managers and provide contact details
  • sign post to other organisations who could be approached for advice and suggest appropriate options for raising concerns externally  
  • set out how the organisation will act when a concern is raised
  • make clear how  information will be managed  and that feedback will be provided
  • give assurance that the person raising the concern will not be victimised  in any way

Those raising concerns can get confidential advice and help from the independent charity Public Concern at Work  or telephone 020 7404 6609

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has prepared a briefing to help to help pharmacists understand whistle-blowing.

PSNC will be issuing further guidance and is preparing a whistleblowing template policy and a briefing on the subject.

Members of the NPA can access a ‘how to’ guide on the website.

Further guidance can be obtained from the British Standards Institute’s (BSI) Code of Practice on Whistleblowing arrangements



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