NHS Whistleblowing and the Law

Joseph England, a Barrister, has recently published a handbook entitled NHS Whistleblowing and the Law.

The book is intended to be accessible to those pursuing their own claims, as well as lawyers, and to try and demystify some of the legal complexities.


Whistleblowing claims are some of the most complex and technical cases that can be pursued. This book provides a comprehensive and practical guide to the law in this field. The topic has received increased attention in recent years as a result of several high profile cases and incidents across a wide range of areas. Such claims are increasingly common, can be brought by workers and employees and do not require a specific length of service. A thorough understanding of the legal framework, as provided in this new publication, is essential.

This publication explains the various legislative requirements to whistleblowing, covering topics including:

  • who can be a whistleblower within the legal definition;
  • when raising a concern is elevated to be a protected disclosure;
  • the law relating to detriments and dismissal if caused by a protected disclosure;
  • what remedies are available
  • practical points about the procedure of claims.

The book provides an in-depth practical guide to the law and a very useful reference tool for practitioners on both sides of a dispute, as well as assisting litigants acting without a lawyer to comprehend the law in this complex area.

Foreword by Francesca West, Chief Executive of Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work).


Joseph England is a Barrister at 3 Paper Buildings and a specialist Employment practitioner. His busy practice has ensured he has in-depth experience of a wide variety of areas and types of claim, including significant expertise in whistleblowing cases both within and outside of the NHS. Of note, he acted as junior for the successful Claimant who was awarded £1.22mil in Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (ET, 1302226/11, 1303494/12) and in the successful appeal in McTigue v University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust ([2016] IRLR 742), which considered the scope of protection for whistleblowers, leading to a wider definition of those who could claim protection. He has also acted for various respondents in whistleblowing cases, including NHS Trusts and Health Boards, Education Institutions and a wide variety of businesses. Further details and examples of cases can be found on his chambers’ website.

His success and evident abilities have led clients to trust Joseph with very complex cases. Joseph’s practice benefits from representing and advising both sides of employment disputes and he has been instructed in cases at the Court of Appeal, EAT and at a wide range of final and preliminary hearings in tribunal and court. He regularly delivers training covering areas from nuanced and niche points of law to basics of the Tribunal procedure and mock tribunals. He has been published in the ELA Briefing, on Westlaw and provides updates through Chambers and on Twitter @JEnglandCounsel.


Chapter One – Points of Procedure
Types of Claim
Freedom to Speak Up: Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Policy for the NHS
A Claim in the Employment Tribunal
The Start of a Tribunal Claim
Time Limits
Preliminary Hearings

Chapter Two – Who Can Be a Whistleblower?
NHS Job Applicants

Chapter Three – Has the Whistle Been Blown?
Does the Disclosure Contain the Required Content?
Reasonable Belief of the Worker
Made in the Public Interest
‘Tends to Show’
Has the Protected Disclosure Been Made in the Required Manner?

Chapter Four – Liability
Who to Claim Against?
‘On the Ground That’
Dismissal Under S.103A Era 1996

Chapter Five – Remedy
Interim Relief
Reinstatement and Re-Engagement
Compensation for Unfair Dismissal and Financial Loss
Good Faith
Injury to Feelings

Chapter Six – Contemporary and Future Issues
Freedom to Speak Up and Whistleblowing Guardians
Legislative Developments
Non-Disclosure Agreements
Sources of Advice

Details and where to buy can be found here: http://www.lawbriefpublishing.com/product/nhswhistleblowing/.

A free chapter can be read at the above site to give a flavour.

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