NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Speech Bubbles

At NHS Dumfries and Galloway we are committed to an open and honest culture that prioritises safety, quality and learning. As part of that culture, it’s important that staff feel able to raise any concerns they may have. Doing so allows us to identify issues quickly and to take any necessary action.

Reporting Concerns

Most concerns can be resolved informally through conversation with relevant colleagues. Usually, the best person to share your concerns with is your Line Manager, the appropriate Clinical Lead or the member of staff responsible for the area you are concerned about.  We also have a number of reporting processes and systems which allow you to capture and report issues quickly and easily e.g. Datix for logging incidents.  

If you don’t feel able to raise issues via those routes, or if you feel that your concerns are not being addressed, you have several other options including speaking with Human Resources, Occupational Health or your Union (if you are a member). You also have the option of accessing more formal processes.


Employment Issues

If your concern relates to your individual experience as an employee, you should seek advice from Human Resources (HR) as to the most appropriate way to progress.  More information on HR processes is available on the policy section of the Board’s website at www.nhsdg.co.uk/policies/.

Care and Treatment Issues

If you have concerns about your experience as a patient, or the experience of a friend or family member, you can access the Board’s Complaints Handling Procedure or share your feedback via the independent website Care Opinion. More information is available on the feedback section of the Board’s website at www.nhsdg.co.uk/how-did-we-do/.

"Whistleblowing" is another term for raising a concern or speaking up when things are not right

Public interest issues can be raised under the Board’s Whistleblowing Standards. Those issues may be in relation to:

  • patient-safety or patient-care concerns
  • poor practice or unsafe working conditions
  • fraud (theft, corruption, bribery or embezzlement)
  • changing or falsifying information about performance
  • breaking any legal obligation
  • abusing authority 

Anyone who provides services for the NHS can raise a concern under the Whistleblowing Standards including:

  • current and former employees
  • agency workers (i.e. locums, bank staff)
  • contractors
  • students
  • volunteers
  • non-executive directors and;
  • anyone working in a health and social care partnership

Raising a Whistleblowing Concern

Where possible, you should raise any concerns with your Line Manager or Clinical Lead in the first instance as they are often best placed to resolve issues. If you feel you cannot raise the matter with them, or if they have been unable to resolve it, you can speak with a Confidential Contact.

Confidential Contacts can provide confidential advice to staff regarding whistleblowing concerns. They can also provide signposting to other processes and/or support mechanisms.

More information on the role of Confidential Contacts can be found on page 51 of the Whistleblowing Standards.

Before accessing the Standards, there are a number of things we need to consider, including whether the concern fits the definition of whistleblowing.


Any concerns raised under the Whistleblowing Standards will be treated in the strictest of confidence.  Confidentiality refers to the requirement not to disclose information about the person raising a concern, unless the law says that it can or must be disclosed.  This includes anyone else involved in the process, such as other witnesses.  Whistleblowers are also afforded certain legal protections.  More information on those protections can be found here.
Anonymity refers to a situation when nobody knows the identity of the person who raised the concern.  You cannot raise an anonymous concern under the Whistleblowing Standards, nor can you bring an anonymous concern to the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO).   


Whistleblowing Contacts

Confidential Contacts

Dr Grecy Bell, Deputy Medical Director

We are in the process of identifying additional Confidential Contacts across the Board.

Whistleblowing Champion

Recruitment to the Whistleblowing Champion post is currently in progress.

Whistleblowing Lead

Dr Ken Donaldson, Medical Director

Whistleblowing Manager

Emma Murphy, Patient Feedback and Whistleblowing Manager

The above can be contacted via the confidential email address dg.speakup@nhs.scot or by phone via switchboard on 01387 246 246.  

Concerns about the Chief Executive 

Concerns about the Chief Executive can be directed to the above, or directly to the Chair of the Board, Mr Nick Morris at nick.morris@nhs.scot.

More information on the various roles identified above can be found here.

Student and Trainee Concerns

Students, trainees and anyone on apprenticeships and internships working and/or studying within NHS services can access the Whistleblowing Standards for raising concerns about NHS service delivery.  

We recognise that there can be specific challenges for these groups in raising concerns.  We encourage everyone working with or on behalf of the Board to participate fully in our learning culture and we would seek to reassure people that any concerns raised will be taken seriously.

Students and trainees have access to the same support options as staff.  They can also raise concerns with their university contact, professional body or NHS Education Scotland (for trainee doctors and dentists).  Additionally, the Board has a number of Whistleblowing Advocates for students:

Practice Education Lead for Allied Health Professionals

Laura Lennox – laura.lennox@nhs.scot

     Practice Education Facilitator for Nursing

     Lynn McCourtney – lynn.mccourtney@nhs.scot

     Practice Education Facilitator for Nursing

     Karen Stitt – karen.stitt@nhs.scot


We recognise that raising concerns can be daunting and it’s important to us that you feel safe and supported when doing so. In addition to the support options detailed above, staff can also access various levels of psychological support via the ‘Staff Support’ button on the front page of the Board’s intranet.

Psychological Support

The Staff Psychological Services team is here to ensure that staff can access support to help optimise their wellbeing.
Brief guided self-help can be accessed by emailing dg.mhstaffsupport@nhs.scot or calling 01387 241 303.
Psychological therapy and longer term input can be accessed by emailing dg.gp-psychology-service@nhs.scot.

Additional Support

The Staff Psychological Services operate Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm (excluding bank holidays).  If you require support outside of these hours, please contact one of the numbers below:

National Wellbeing Helpline, open 24/7 for all working in health and social care services, telephone 0800 111 4191.
Breathing Space, open weekdays Monday-Thursday 6pm-2am and weekends Friday 6pm-Monday 6am, telephone 0800 83 85 87.
Samaritans, open 24/7, telephone 116 123.

Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO)

The Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) is the final stage of the process for those raising whilstleblowing concerns about the NHS in Scotland.
You can access their website at www.inwo.spso.org.uk.
To ensure those wanting to raise concerns have access to all the information they need in relation to the standards, the INWO team operates a free advice phone line.  You can contact the team on 0800 008 6112.  This service is open to all NHS providers, staff and members of the public.

Useful Links

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)
HIS is a statutory body that works with healthcare providers to drive
and support improvements in the quality of healthcare. If your concern is about the quality of health care in NHSScotland, you can raise your concern directly with HIS by calling 0131 623 4300 or 0141 225 6999.
Visit the Healthcare Improvement Scotland website 
NHSScotland Counter Fraud Services (CFS)
CFS works in partnership with all of the NHS in Scotland. Their job is to protect Scotland’s health from the impact of financial crime. They provide a comprehensive counter fraud service through a centrally based, professionally qualified team of experienced specialists, dedicated only to counter fraud work.  If your concern is about fraud in NHSScotland you can raise your concern directly with CFS by calling 01506 705200.
Visit the Counter Fraud Services website 
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
HSE is the regulator for health and safety at work in Great Britain. HSE leads the health and safety system and, in partnership with local authority co-regulators, secures compliance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974HSE’s aim is to prevent death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities. If your concern is about health and safety issues at work, you can raise your concern directly with HSE. HSE can be contacted on 0300 003 1647
Visit the Health and Safety Executive website. 
Audit Scotland
Audit Scotland helps the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission to make sure organisations that spend public money in Scotland use it properly, efficiently and effectively.
Audit Scotland staff and firms of auditors appointed by Audit Scotland carry out the audits to check whether organisations manage their finances to the highest standards and achieve the best possible value for public money. If your concern is about the use of public money you may raise your concern directly with Audit Scotland by calling 0131 625 1500.
Visit the Audit Scotland website

Other Languages

Our Speak Up – Staff concerns leaflet is available in other languages and formats.  If you require the leaflet in another language or format, please contact Patient Services by email at dg.patient-information@nhs.scot.