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Whistleblowing policy & procedure

Last Updated On: February 2024
Effective Date: February 2024

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Ensure that all staff understand the importance of raising a concern, some mes also referred to as “speaking
    up” or “whistleblowing”
  • Encourage staff to report suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, in the knowledge that their concerns
    will be taken seriously and inves gated as appropriate, and that their confiden ality will be respected
  • To provide staff with guidance as to how to raise those concerns
  • To reassure staff that they should be able to raise genuine concerns without fear of reprisals, even if they
    turn out to be mistaken


This policy has been adapted from the QCS policy and applies to all members of staff, whether paid or unpaid, student or volunteer. For each service’s individual whistleblowing policy, please log on to QCS for full details.

This policy and procedure does not apply if a member of the workforce is aggrieved about their personal position. They must use the Grievances Policy and Procedures.This policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to encourage employees to question financial or business decisions taken by Nouvita nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under Nouvita’s complaint procedures.

Nouvita is committed to the highest standards of openness, integrity and accountability. All staff have a duty to
ensure standards of quality care by raising concerns regarding wrongdoing or malpractice. This policy will provide
the means of ensuring that staff can confidentially raise genuine concerns of malpractice and/or misconduct through
appropriate means at the earliest point without fear of reprisal.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act which came into effect in 1999 gives legal protection to employees against being
dismissed or penalised by their Company as a result of publicly disclosing certain serious concerns. Whilst it is a
fundamental term of every contract of employment that an employee will not disclose confident al informa on
about the Company’s affairs, where an individual discovers information which they believes shows serious
malpractice or wrongdoing within Nouvita then this information should be disclosed internally without fear of

By issuing this policy to all its employees Nouvita believes it is reasonable to expect staff to use the procedure set out
below to air their complaints initially, in order that they may be addressed internally, rather than make such a
complaint outside the Company.

Scope of Policy:
This policy is intended to cover concerns which are in the public interest and may at least be investigated separately but might then lead to the invocation of other procedures, in line with Nouvita’s established practices and procedures. These concerns might include:

  • The physical, sexual and verbal abuse of any service user, member of staff or other person on the premises
  • Financial malpractice or impropriety or fraud
  • The acceptance or giving of bribes
  • Failure to comply with legal obligations or statutes
  • Dangers to health and safety or the environment
  • Criminal activity
  • Improper conduct or unethical behaviour
  • A bullying culture
  • Atempts to conceal any of the above
  • Data protection breaches


Employees who disclose such concerns will be protected by this policy provided the disclosure is made in good faith and in the reasonable belief of the individual making the disclosure that it tends to show malpractice or impropriety. It should be noted that no protection from internal disciplinary procedures is offered to those who choose not to use this procedure. Malicious or wild allegations could be considered Gross Misconduct by Nouvita and may also render an employee liable to legal redress through the criminal or civil courts.

Nouvita will treat all disclosures under this policy in a confidential and sensitive manner. The identity of the individual making the allegation may be kept confidential so long as it does not hinder or frustrate any subsequent investigation. The employee making the disclosure may be required to make a formal written statement as part of the evidence required.

Anonymous Allegations:
The policy encourages individuals to put their name to any disclosures they make, and depending upon the seriousness of the allegation the Company will use its discretion in how it responds to any anonymous allegations.

Untrue Allegations:
If an employee makes an allegation in good faith, which is not confirmed by a subsequent investigation, no action will be taken against that individual. If, however an individual makes malicious or vexations allegations, disciplinary action may be taken.

Procedure for Making a Disclosure:
If any employee wishes to make a complaint of malpractice, they should do so to their immediate line manager in the first instance. This can be done either in writing or verbally. It is always better to raise a concern as soon as it arises. Unless it is a safeguarding matter, the issue should remain confidential between the individual and the line manager it is raised to. However, the individual’s line may need to share the concern with senior management

“Freedom to Speak Up Guardians”:
Instead, where the service has a dedicated “Freedom to Speak Up Guardian” (FTSU), you can contact them. The Freedom to Speak Up Guardian supports staff to speak up when they feel that they are unable to in other ways.

If the concern involves a manager or the individual raising the concern is unable to raise their concern directly to their immediate line manager (or they have done already and no action has been taken), the individual should then escalate their concerns to the Registered Manager. This can be done in writing or verbally.

If the individual, for whatever reason cannot raise their concern with the manager of the service, then they should raise it with head office. Concerns should be escalated to Phil Masseti, Chief Executive Officer or Victoria Hulstorm, Clinical Director. They can contacted at head office by writing to Nouvita Healthcare, 33-35 Wellfield Road, Hatfield, AL10 0BY or emailing [email protected] or [email protected] or you can call on 01707 932120.

If there is evidence of criminal activity then the investigating manager should inform the police. Nouvita will ensure that any internal investigation does not hinder a formal police investigation.

Should you wish to raise the matter confidentiality to an external party, you can do so by calling Radcliffes law firm on 0800 133 7078.

The Care Quality Commission:
Alternitively, if the individual does not feel that their concern will be appropriately handled, they may report their concerns to the Care Quality Commission on 03000 61 61 61 or through the CQC website. The CQC will not disclose the member of staff’s identity without their consent unless there are legal reasons requiring the CQC to do so, e.g. where the information is about a child or vulnerable adult who is at risk.

Due to the varied nature of these sorts of complaints, which may involve extensive investigation, it is not possible to lay down precise timescales for the process to be completed. However, the investigating manager will ensure that the investigations are undertaken as quickly as possible without affecting the quality and depth of those investigations.

The investigating manager will send a written acknowledgement of the concern to the complainant and thereafter report back to them in writing the outcome of the investigation and the action, if any, that is proposed. If the investigation is a prolonged one, the investigation manager will keep the complaint informed in writing of the progress of the investigation and give an indication, where possible, as to when the investigation is likely to be included.

Whilst the manager investigating cannot always guarantee the outcome the individual is seeking, they must deal with the individual’s concerns in a fair and appropriate way. If the individual remains unhappy with the outcome they can escalate it as set out in this policy.

If the complainant is not satisfied that their concern is being properly dealt with by the investigating manager the concern has been escalated to, they should raise this in confidence with the appointed independent person (this might be the local authority or the CQC). For Nouvita services in Hertfordshire, this would be Hertfordshire County Council and they are contactable on 01442 454300.

If the investigation finds the allegations to be unsubstantiated and all internal procedures have been exhausted, but the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, Nouvita recognises the lawful rights of employees and ex-employees to make disclosures to prescribed persons (such as the Health and Safety Executive, the Care Quality Commission, local authority or the Police) or, where justified, elsewhere.

External Disclosures:
The aim of this policy is to provide an internal mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying any wrongdoing in the workplace. In most cases it should not be necessary to alert anyone externally. The law recognises that in some circumstances it may be appropriate for individuals to report their concerns to an external body, as described above. It will very rarely, if ever, be appropriate to alert the media. Nouvita strongly encourages staff members to seek advice before reporting a concern to anyone external.

Whistleblowing concerns usually relate to the conduct of staff, but they may sometimes relate to the actions of a third party, such as a supplier or service provider. In some circumstances, the law will protect an individual if they raise the matter with the third party directly. However, Nouvita encourages staff to report such concerns internally first, in line with this policy.

Protected Disclosures and Safeguarding:
Where a safeguarding concern is received by a member of staff, the Hertfordshire Adult Safeguarding policy and procedures will be followed. This team will take responsibility for informing other agencies.