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 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.
The INWO has developed a set of National Whistleblowing Standards that set out the high level principles and a detailed procedure for investigating concerns. These Standards are now being shared for information and to help prepare NHS organisations for implementation in 2020. For further information, please visit the new INWO website at www.inwo.org.uk.
The COVID-19 crisis has challenged many aspects of life, and in particular, our health services. In consultation with the Scottish Government, we have paused our work with boards helping them prepare for implementation of the National Whistleblowing Standards.
We will be reviewing the implementation timescales with the Scottish Government in June, to decide whether implementation of the standards should be delayed from the planned date of July 2020, and if so for how long. We will update on the position when it is clearer.
In the meantime, we are continuing with our implementation preparations, including the recruitment of our INWO investigations team, development of our systems and processes, and the support we will provide for boards and other providers, once timescales are clear.
If you have any queries about this work, please contact us at CSA@spso.gov.scot.
Information and updates on the development of the INWO can be found below.