Archived on 31 May 2019 – this content has expired.

Whistleblowing guidance and template now available

31 May 2017

Whistleblowing guidance and template policy now available to download from the NPA website

Pharmacy contractors in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are responsible for raising concerns in order to protect the interests of patients and the public, in accordance with their professional standards set out by the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. Additionally, pharmacy contractors must comply with relevant guidance, legislation and/or NHS Terms of Service requirements in relation to whistleblowing. Therefore, the NPA has produced a whistleblowing guidance and template policy for each country to help NPA members meet the requirements.

Whistleblowing is a term used when a concern is raised about conduct and/or procedures taking place within an organisation which could adversely affect colleagues, patients or the organisation itself. Such concerns are usually regarding routine, rather than one-off occurrences, such as frequent dispensing errors resulting in negligence. A whistleblowing policy is essential because it ensures employees, including locum members of staff, who raise concerns are not subsequently victimised in any way, therefore, it should protect all those involved. It is not for employees, including locums, to raise personal grievances within the workplace.

Examples of situations which can be reported under a whistleblowing policy include claiming for prescription items that were not dispensed, sexually or physically abusing patients and working when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Examples of situations which are not covered by a whistleblowing policy include bullying, discrimination, harassment or other personal grievances, complaints regarding working hours and complaints from service users, their relatives or representatives.

For further information on this or any other query, please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891 800 or email

Produced by the NPA Pharmacy team May 2017.