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West Bridgford
Monday, 30 November 2020

Council publishes annual ‘whistleblowers’ review

PUBLISHED

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Whistleblowers have raised concerns including bullying and unprofessional conduct at Nottinghamshire County Council, an annual report has revealed.

Four of the six complaints involved the adult social care department.

Councillor Bruce Laughton, Chairman of the Governance and Ethics Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We’re committed to embedding an open, transparent culture at the County Council and our whistleblowing policy is very much part of this.

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By publishing this annual review we hope we can give reassurance to residents and employees that, if they come forward with concerns, we have procedures in place to ensure they will be listened to and action will be taken.”

These included a complaint about the conduct of a team manager, potential financial abuse by people who use council services, and concerns about the clinical practice of an organisation which had been brought in by the council.

The county council revealed the list in its annual review of whistleblowing. It includes six whistleblowing reports last year, including two of bullying.

However confidentiality issues mean that full details of the complaints are not revealed.

All six of the complaints raised have now been closed, and the identities of those who blew the whistle have not been revealed.

One person raised issues of ‘bullying, health and safety concerns, concerns regarding the recruitment process, and allegations of theft’.

Another complaint involved someone who works in the children’s, families and cultural services department, whose report is listed simply as ‘bullying’.

The report, which was presented to the council’s ethics committee today, said: “Given the confidential nature of the complaints, this report can only refer to the general nature of the complaint; especially in the case of those investigations which are ongoing.”

Whistleblowing policies exist at almost all public sector bodies, and are designed to ensure that any member of staff can raise concerns.

The council’s whistleblowing policy says: “‘Whistleblowing’ is viewed by the council as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to the council’s efficiency and long-term success.

“It is not disloyal to colleagues or the council to speak up.

“The council is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest possible ethical standards in public life and in all of its practices. To help achieve these standards it encourages freedom of speech.”

It was also decided that the council will publish news items about whistleblowing reports in its internal newsletter.