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Voicing your concerns within the NHS

  • August 30, 2018

As an employee of a large organisation, you may at some point in your career encounter some worries or stresses with other members of staff, perhaps with the way they speak to you or you may disagree with their medical practices. This can lead to you feeling lonely or stressful. So, in today’s article, we outline the different options available to you which will let you voice your concerns.

  1. Speak to your recruitment agent
  2. Speak to your line manager
  3. Raise your concern with your Trusts National Guardian
  4. Contact other independent bodies

Speak to your recruitment agent

If you are experiencing some troubles at work, and you can contact your recruitment agent who helped you find your position, then please inform them first. We understand that approaching your line manager or HR department may be an awkward task for you. Therefore, we would happily speak to them on behalf of you, raise your concerns and will then help find a solution to your problem.

However, if you applied directly via NHS jobs then you will have to follow the below steps:

Speak to your line manager

If you are experiencing worries at work the first piece of advice to you is to contact your line manager. It is important to do this in the first instance before the problem escalates and worsens. Your line manager will listen to your concerns and see if they can help you solve the issue, and in most cases, they will. However, if your manager feels it is outside of their realm of work then they may ask you to speak to the HR department.

Once you have raised your concerns with your HR department they will refer to their grievance policy and follow the procedure to help solve your concerns. If it is another member of staff you are having an issue with, then typically, they will organise an informal meeting with the both of you to sit down, speak about your differences and you will leave the meeting with a solution.

If, however, your concern is larger and refers to needing to protect your rights then the HR department will follow an alternative procedure.

These characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

Raise your concern with your Trusts National Guardian

If your concerns are unable to be solved with your line manager or the HR department, or you feel that the outcome of meetings are unfair, and you are still unhappy then you may want to raise your troubles with the National Guardian.

What is the National Guardian?

Following a Public Inquiry at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust the Francis Report revealed that NHS employees had tried to speak up about patient safety concerns but had been ignored. In the succeeding Freedom to Speak Up Report, Sir Robert Francis made recommendations for the changes needed to improve the NHS, leading to an open and transparent culture for the benefit of patient care.

The question raised was – who do you turn to if you want to speak up?

Its purpose – to protect you as an individual  

It can often be challenging for new employees to speak up, especially those who are from another country and are new to the NHS system and this can leave staff feeling vulnerable about being offered work or having their training signed off.

So, the purpose of the independent body is to allow NHS employees who are having troubles with their professional relationships, worries about their future employment and any concerns over patient safety, probity or conduct concern.

National Guardian’s Office

For this reason, the National Guardian’s Office was set up as a key recommendation of the Francis Report to support NHS employees who want to speak up. The overarching principle is that every organisation needs to foster a culture of safety in which all workers feel safe to raise a concern.

In March 2017, all NHS Trusts had appointed either a single or multiple individuals to the role.

Remember, that before approaching your Trust’s National Guardian appointee, it is important that you have approached your line manager and your HR department.

Contacting other independent bodies

If you feel that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being comprised you can also contact other independent bodies such as:

The General Medicine Council

British Doctors Association

If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch.

Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! If you would like to have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask relocation questions and receive professional answers and meet other IMGs then come and join our big IMG community.


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