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At our last CQC inspection a colleague of mine was interviewed by the inspector. The inspector asked her what she would do if I (as her Manager) attended work drunk. My colleague replied ‘I would tell the Company Director’.
The inspector shared with my colleague that her reasons for asking were that a small number of whistleblowing concerns had been raised with the CQC directly relating to Registered Managers attending work intoxicated.
When she recounted the experience later we laughed about the scenario (I am teetotal) but it was a good question which got me thinking, would everyone within our organisation have answered the same?
CQC guidance states “A good service provider will create an atmosphere where workers feel able to report concerns and will thoroughly investigate and address such concerns within the service. Having an open culture will help staff to be more confident about raising concerns. Workers are more likely to raise concerns at an early stage if your policy and procedures are clear and easy to use. It is also easier for you to deal with concerns at an early stage”.
You should encourage and publicise a culture of openness and transparency in your workforce by promoting whistleblowing as much as you can. If you support whistleblowers through the process - without fear of reprisal - and they have positive experiences, they will share their experiences with other members of staff.
Care staff may know what to do if they want to raise concerns regarding others within their team but what if the concerns are regarding senior managers?
The role of Manager
The role of Manager is absolutely critical and as such you should conduct yourself at all times in a professional manner. It is a good idea to remind staff of your procedures and The Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure in the Quality Compliance System advises staff to directly contact CQC or the Local Authority if they have concerns about the Manager themselves and/or their ability to appropriately handle a safeguarding concern.
To further publicise this guidance you should put the relevant contact telephone numbers for both organisations on a noticeboard or another prominent place within the workplace. It may be helpful to provide staff with a simple flow chart of who they can talk to if they have got concerns and what to do in the event if they don’t feel as though they can come and talk to a manager.
What methods do you use to promote whistleblowing in your workplace?
Rosie Robinson – QCS Expert Care Contributor