Whistleblowing Disclosures

Greg Lawton made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Care Professions Council

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Dear Health and Care Professions Council,

The Prescribed Persons (Reports on Disclosures of Information) Regulations 2017 SI 2017/507 were made in accordance with Section 43FA of the Employment Rights Act 1996. These regulations require prescribed persons to report annually on disclosures of information made to them by workers.

The legislation can be found here:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017...
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/199...

In 2021, the healthcare regulators which are prescribed persons for the purposes of Section 43F of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”) produced a joint “Whistleblowing disclosures report”, which can be found here:
https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents...
https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/site...
https://www.hcpc-uk.org/globalassets/res...
https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/sites...
https://www.gdc-uk.org/docs/default-sour...
https://www.optical.org/filemanager/root...
https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/news-and-r...

Similar joint reports were also published in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Please could you disclose:
1. Policies, procedures, guidance and other documents which show how you determine whether a concern (such as a fitness to practise concern) received by you is a worker’s disclosure, for the purposes of meeting your obligations under the Prescribed Persons (Reports on Disclosures of Information) Regulations 2017 SI 2017/507.

2. Information showing how you determined whether a concern (such as a fitness to practise concern) received by you was a disclosure for the purposes of producing the 2021 “Whistleblowing disclosures report” and reporting within it on the number of disclosures of information received.

Yours faithfully,

Greg Lawton

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Greg Lawton

 

Thank you for your email dated 7 December 2021, in which you ask for
information regarding whistleblowing disclosures.

 

We are treating this as a request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA).

 

We will deal with your request as promptly as possible and at the latest,
within 20 working days of receiving it, as required by the FOIA. If you
have any queries about your request please do contact us using this email
address.

 

The reference number for your request is FR07350.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 - 186 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[1]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

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Dear FOI,

I have not yet received your substantive response. The deadline for providing the substantive response was 7 January 2022, because that was the 20th working day following the date of receipt of the request (the duty to respond by this deadline is set out in section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000).

Please respond as soon as possible, and by no later than 14 January 2022.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Lawton

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

4 Attachments

Our Ref. FR07350

 

 

Dear Greg Lawton

 

Thank you for your email dated 7 December 2021, in which you ask for
information regarding whistleblowing disclosures.

 

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).

 

The HCPC Whistleblowing Policy is available on our website at
[1]https://www.hcpc-uk.org/globalassets/res....
This sets out, in broad terms, our role as a prescribed person and the
protections afforded to those raising a concern.

 

In our Fitness to Practise Department, we expect our case managers to
classify the concerns we receive and record them on our case management
system.  We can run reports from the system and pull concerns which my
fall into whistleblowing disclosure and prescribed person disclosure
report area. The concerns within this area would fall into “Raising
concerns, complaints, safeguarding and risk management” tier within our
case classification framework. We have copied the relevant parts of the
framework and internal guidance for your information below:

 

 

Failure to appropriately
support service users and
carers who want to raise
complaints
Complaint handling Failure to offer a helpful
and honest response to a
complaint from a service
user or carer
 
 
Failure to manage
foreseeable risks to
service users, their
carers or colleagues  
Failure to report a
serious adverse events
or errors in care or
treatment
Putting the safety or Placed colleague at risk
Raising concerns, wellbeing of others at Placed service users or
complaints, safeguarding unacceptable risk carers at risk
and risk management Failure to recognise or
report concerns promptly
Raising concerns and appropriately
Failure to support, follow
up or escalate concerns
Failure to complete an
Risk assessments adequate risk assessment
Failure to complete risk
assessment
Failure to appropriately
respond to a safeguarding
alert
Failure to put in place
Safeguarding adequate safeguarding
arrangements
Failure to recognise or
report safeguarding
concerns
Working excessive or  
unsafe hours

Raising concerns, complaints, safeguarding and risk, management

 

[2]Professional Standards Allegations in this section are modelled on
standards 6.1 - 6.2, 7 and 8.2 - 8.3 of the HCPC Standards of conduct,
performance and ethics. These relate to identifying and minimising risk,
reporting concerns about safety and following them up and dealing with
concerns and complaints.

A copy of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (SCPE) can
be found on our website at
[3]https://www.hcpc-uk.org/standards/standa....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1. This section addresses concerns where it is alleged that a registrant
has failed to appropriately raise and handle concerns and manage risk
to service users.

 

Classifications Outline

 

 2. Registrants have a duty to report concerns about the safety or
well-being of service users promptly and appropriately (SCPE 7.1).
They must follow up concerns they have reported up and, if necessary,
escalate them (SCPE 7.5). They have an additional duty to take
appropriate action if they have concerns about the safety and
wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults (SPE 7.3).

 

 3. Registrants must also support and encourage others to report concerns
and not prevent anyone from raising concerns (SCPE 7.2). If concerns
are raised to them, they must acknowledge and act on these,
investigating, escalating or dealing with those concerns where it is
appropriate for them to do so (SCPE 7.6).

 

 4. These classifications broadly apply where a registrant has failed in
these standards and related standards discussed below. Some
classifications reference specific obligations which form part of some
registrants’ roles, such as risk assessment and safeguarding.

 

Complaint handling

 

5.             Registrants must support service users and carers who want
to raise concerns about the care, treatment or other services they have
received (SCPE 8.2) and give a helpful and honest response (SCPE 8.3).

 

6.             These classifications relate to concerns and complaints
from service users and carers. They may not be appropriate if:

 

o Allegations involve a registrant failing to appropriately raise
concerns. Go to: T1. Raising concerns, complaints, safeguarding and
risk management > T2. Raising concerns.

 

o Allegations involve a registrant failing to cooperate with a complaint
investigation. Go to: T1. HCPC / regulatory issues > T2. Failure to
co-operate with investigations into conduct or competence.

Managing risk

 

 7. Some registrants’ roles involve inherent risks. For example, it is
risky for paramedics to treat service uses at a road traffic accident
site, because of the passing traffic and damaged vehicles. What is
therefore important is how these risks are managed.

 

 8. Registrants must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm
to service users, carers and colleagues as far as possible (SCPE 6.1).
They must also not do anything, or allow someone else to do anything,
which could put the health or safety of a service user, carer or
colleague at unacceptable risk (SCPE 6.2).

 

 9. These classifications apply where a registrant has failed in these
standards.

 

Failure to manage foreseeable risks to service users, their carers or
colleagues

 

10. By ‘foreseeable risk’, we mean that a reasonable registrant could
reasonably anticipate that risk arising in the circumstances. The
nature of the allegation may be relied upon for the purpose of
classification.

 

Putting the safety or wellbeing of others at unacceptable risk

 

11. Where risks are ignored, or a registrant actively creates or exposes
others to a risky situation, then they are placing service users,
carers and colleagues at risk.

 

Safeguarding

 

12. The term ‘safeguarding’ is used to define actions taken to protect
vulnerable groups from harm. Vulnerable groups include children and
people who are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves
against significant harm or exploitation, such as the elderly or
people with learning difficulties.

 

13. The Care Act 2014 sets out the key principles of safeguarding[4][i].

 

14. Registrants who work with vulnerable groups have duties to recognise,
record and report signs of neglect, abuse or exploitation through
safeguarding procedures.”

 

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with our full
response.

 

Internal review

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review by writing to:

 

Governance Department

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House

184 - 186 Kennington Park Road

London

SE11 4BU

 

Email: [5][email address]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: [6][email address]

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 - 186 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[7]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

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Dear Health and Care Professions Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Health and Care Professions Council's handling of my FOI request 'Whistleblowing Disclosures'.

Thank you for your response. However, the link you provided (https://www.hcpc-uk.org/globalassets/res...) was to guidance for whistleblowers about raising concerns; this is not what I was requesting.

Further, the written response you provided is very difficult to read and understand, perhaps due to the formatting of the text. I would be grateful if you could provide a document which sets out this information with the correct formatting.

Furthermore, having read through the information within this written response, it appears to relate mainly to how you classify fitness to practise concerns. I understood from your response that in compiling your annual "Whistleblowing disclosures report", you may pull certain categories of fitness to practise concern and consider these for inclusion. However, the explanation does not explain how you would determine which of these concerns constituted protected disclosures for the purposes of producing the annual Whistleblowing disclosures report (for example, how do you determine whether the person is a worker?). In addition, it does not explain how you would determine whether any other sources of information which had not been received in the form of fitness to practise concerns (such as corporate complaints), would constitute protected disclosures.

Please review your response to my original questions, and provide the requested information.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...

Yours faithfully,

Greg Lawton

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Greg Lawton

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 January 2022, the contents of which has
been noted.

 

As you are unhappy with our response sent to you on 11 January 2022 your
request has been escalated for an internal review and as such has now been
passed to the Head of Governance.

 

We aim to respond to your internal review as soon as possible and at the
latest, within 20 working days of receiving it.

 

The reference number for your request is FR07379.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 - 186 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[1]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

Follow us on [2]Facebook, [3]LinkedIn, [4]Twitter and [5]YouTube​
​Please consider the environment before printing this email
Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg

 

 

 

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FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

2 Attachments

Dear Greg Lawton,

 

Please find attached our response to your recent request for an internal
review.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 - 186 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[1]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

Follow us on [2]Facebook, [3]LinkedIn, [4]Twitter and [5]YouTube​
​Please consider the environment before printing this email
Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg

 

 

 

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