GLASGOW’S health board is to review whistleblowing procedures amid claims staff were ‘victimised’ for reporting long-standing concerns about the city’s super-hospital.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the inquiry will examine how issues are investigated and what actions are taken after concerns are disclosed.

The board said known ‘whistleblowers’ will be asked if they experienced any negative repercussions after disclosing issues.

A whistleblowing champion, Charles Vincent, has been appointed, at no additional cost according to the board, to oversee the review, which is expected to last between six and nine months.

It comes after senior health figures raised concerns that a major report, published last week on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital could damage the confidence of staff reporting concerns.

READ MORE: QEUH reporter 'targeting' whistleblowers who raised the alarm over infection fears 

The review suggested those who had had raised concerns about infection control and contaminated water as early as 2015 had caused tension within their department as well as wider problems within the health board.

One senior NHSGGC source claimed whistleblowers had been ‘victimised’ since reporting their concerns.

Doctors who raised infection control issues went public in a Disclosure Scotland documentary that was screened last night. 

New national whistleblowing standards were due to come into force in July 2020 which aim to offer more protection to staff and managers but the implementation has been delayed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

NHSGGC say more than 80 per cent of whistleblowing claims result in recommendations but said reviews within other health boards had shown that discrimination has occurred within the whistleblowing process.

One nurse who works in the QEUH said in her experience it was rare for staff to experience discrimination after disclosing concerns.

She said: “Staff accept that raising issues is an essential part of working in a place like the QEUH, things don’t get fixed unless someone reports the issues.

“People can take these issue reports personally and make a comment or two about it, but that’s usually as far as it goes. Staff members punishing others for raising complaints, in my experience, is very rare now.”

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However Barbara Sweeney, Senior Officer with the Royal College of Nurses (RCN)

Scotland said health boards must do more to ensure staff feel safe when raising issues.

She added: “Ensuring that there are effective processes for staff to raise concerns would reduce the need for whistleblowing in the first place.”

A spokeswoman for NHSGGC said: “We are currently reviewing our Speak Up and Whistleblowing policies to align with the new national whistleblowing standards.

“We support all staff to speak up if they believe things are not working as they should, as this is an essential element of ensuring patient safety.”