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Article: Volume 44 Number 6 Page 571 - June 2017

  Dent Update 2017; 44: 571-574  Read article

Patient-Centred Care:  Whistleblowing in the NHS − Freedom to Speak Up: A Summary

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Abstract: Health Professionals have a duty of care to raise a concern if they believe a patient is at risk of harm. However, these interventions are not always welcomed by authorities. Sir Robert Francis’ review, 'Freedom to Speak Up', published in 2015, was designed to address the reporting culture in the NHS. A symposium, 'Freedom to Speak Out', held at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow in September 2016, considered various aspects of whistleblowing. This article discusses the issues raised and provides advice for people raising concerns. It concludes with some reflections on Sir Robert’s review.

Clinical relevance: Dentists and Dental Care Professionals need to be aware of their duty of care to raise concerns when patient safety is at risk.

Author notes: Anthony Berman, BDS, LDS RCS(Eng), MSc, FDS RCS(Ed), FDS RCPS(Glasg), Retired Specialist in Endodontics, Honorary Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Graham Ogden, BDS, MDSc, PhD, FDS RCPS(Glasg) FDS RCS(Ed), FHEA, FRSA, Professor of Oral Surgery and Head of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Clinical Sciences at the University of Dundee; Dean of the Dental Faculty of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, UK.

Objective: To understand the issues surrounding whistleblowing and how to go about raising a concern.