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Consultation on the Draft National Whistleblowing Standards

This consultation is now closed.

In 2020 the Scottish Government plans to introduce the new role of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO).  The role and functions of the INWO will be undertaken by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. 

The aim is to ensure everyone delivering NHS services in Scotland is able to speak out to raise concerns when they see harm or wrong-doing putting patient safety at risk, or become aware of any other forms of wrongdoing.  Not only must people be able to raise concerns, but they must be confident that they can do so in a protected way, that will not cause them personal detriment, and to which they have the right to an independent review if dissatisfied about how the concern was investigated. 

The INWO will have powers to make recommendations for action to be taken, and have a national leadership role providing support and guidance to relevant bodies with a focus on early resolution where possible, recording, reporting, learning and improvement.  The ultimate aim is to ensure the NHS in Scotland is as well run as possible.

The INWO will be the final stage of the process for those raising concerns. 

In addition, the INWO will be able to develop and publish National Whistleblowing Standards for NHS service providers.  These set out the high level Principles and a detailed Procedure for investigating concerns, which all NHS organisations in Scotland will be required to meet and follow.

We have developed a set of draft National Whistleblowing Standards which we are now consulting on.  These can be found below. 

Our consultation document provides further background information.

The consultation online survey can be accessed here.  If you have any difficulties accessing the online survey, or would prefer not to respond online, please contact us for a word version by emailing or phoning us on 0131 240 2992.

This consultation will run from 1 May to 28 June 2019

If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, please ensure that the organisation submits only one response.

If you are interested in responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the proposed INWO legislation, please email John Malone (


Draft National Whistleblowing Standards




Updated: July 1, 2019