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Health Education England is listed as a prescribed person under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This means that workers at other organisations or companies who wish to raise concerns (often known as ‘whistleblowing’) relating to the education, training, and sufficient supply of health care workers at their employing organisation or company can do so direct to HEE. Prescribed persons enable workers to make public interest disclosures to an independent body where the worker would prefer not to disclose to their employer direct and the body may be able to take action on the disclosure.
Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker provides information to their employer or a prescribed person relating to wrongdoing. The wrongdoing will usually, though not always, relate to something they have witnessed at work. This is also known as making a disclosure. To be protected by whistleblowing law, a disclosure must be a qualifying disclosure. This means the worker making the disclosure believes that doing so is in the public interest and it relates to one of the following categories:
- Criminal offence
- Breach of a legal obligation
- Miscarriage of justice
- Endangering health and safety
- Damage to the environment
- Covering up wrongdoing in any of these categories
Workers have the right not to be subjected to any detriment as a consequence of making a disclosure. To qualify for protection when making a disclosure to a prescribed person, workers must have a reasonable belief that the matter falls within the prescribed person’s remit and that the information disclosed is substantially true. Meeting these criteria is referred to as making a protected disclosure.
Please seek independent advice to help you consider whether you might meet the criteria for making a protected disclosure. This can be obtained from Public Concern at Work, Speak Up (contact details in policy below) or a legal representative.
Further information regarding HEE’s role as a prescribed person and how to make a disclosure to us can be found in the HEE Whistleblowing Protected Disclosure Policy.
In addition, prescribed persons are required to report in writing annually on whistleblowing disclosures made to them as a prescribed person (without identifying the workers concerned or their employers). The reporting period runs from 1 April to 31 March each year. HEE did not receive any whistleblowing disclosures as a prescribed person during 2020/21.