Dear Dr Alexander

Thank you for your email of 2 March to Sir David Norgrove, detailing your concerns about the number of NHS whistleblowing cases used in the report A review of the Fit and Proper Person Test, which was passed to my office for investigation.

We agree that paragraph 10.14 cited by you could be clearer. To improve comparability and coherence between data about NHS whistleblowing, we have written to the Department for Health and Social Care asking them to consider whether the data collected by the NHS whistleblowing helpline could be published. They have indicated that they will consider better ways to communicate statistics about NHS whistleblowing to allow users to understand the full picture.

Regarding your concern about the data published by the National Guardian’s Office, we note that their Freedom to Speak Up Annual Report 2017/18 has detail on the number and percentage of workers who raised concerns and would do so again. For ease of reference, the table below has the relevant figures reproduced from this annual report.


Quarter Feedback received Yes No Maybe Don’t know
Q1 404 343 8 18 27
Q2 511 446 21 33 15
Q3 729 634 31 26 34
Q4 763 654 24 31 38
Total 2407 2077 84 108 114
% of total 87% 4% 5% 5%


Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation