Speaking up (whistleblowing)

Find out when and how to raise concerns, and what support is available to help you do so

A physiotherapist speaking anonymously

When to raise a concern

Don't wait for a problem to develop. If you see poor care or feel you are being prevented from providing safe, compassionate treatment, you should raise a concern as soon as you can.

All NHS employees have a contractual right and a duty to raise concerns with their employer that they consider to be in the public interest – including malpractice, patient safety, financial impropriety or any other serious risks.

How to raise a concern

All employers should have a formal policy, which you should consult for guidance on how to raise a concern in the first instance. The policy should detail with whom you should raise concerns.

You can raise concerns either verbally or in writing. You will need to include some background along with a history of your concerns and the reasons why you are concerned.

Keep records and notes throughout the process detailing the issues you are concerned about for future reference.

Your employer has a duty to respond. If they do not, the CSP can help you to escalate your concerns.

It is important that you raise any concerns in the correct manner, and in line with your employer’s policy.

To ensure this occurs, talk to your CSP steward, contact the CSP directly where there is no steward or discuss the matter with your employer’s freedom to speak up guardian (FTSU).

The CSP can only assist members who are working in the UK to raise concerns.

What help is available?

Talk to your CSP steward or contact the CSP for advice and support on the process of speaking up.

Speak Up Direct: 

Speak Up Direct offers free, independent, confidential advice on the speaking up process.


Protect is a charity that provides free, legal, confidential whistleblowing advice to people who are concerned about wrongdoing at work and not sure whether, or how, to raise concerns.

NHS England:

Find your Guardian (England):

Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (Scotland):

Northern Ireland Direct:

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales:

Last reviewed: