Whistleblowers’ support scheme

This scheme helps current and former NHS workers who are having difficulty finding suitable employment in the NHS as a result of raising a concern in the public interest.


The scheme is open for applications as we currently have places available. Submit your application form, equalities monitoring form, supporting evidence and documentation electronically to nhsi.wbss@improvement.nhs.uk.

The whistleblowers’ support scheme acts on the recommendations from the 2015 Freedom to Speak Up review and the learning from the 2017 pilot schemes. It offers tailored support to help participants develop the skills and confidence needed to remain in or get back into employment. This could include career coaching, advice, CV writing and interview skill practice and work shadowing and work placements.

We welcome applications from all NHS workers, past or current, who meet the eligibility criteria, including workers at all band levels and of all professional clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.

Eligibility criteria

  • Is an NHS whistleblower – NHS whistleblowers may be workers or former workers (NHS employees, agency workers, bank workers, locums, trainees, students on placement) who have raised concerns about safety, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing at work in the NHS, which they thought was in the public interest.
  • Performance is sound prior to raising concerns — applicants need to demonstrate their performance, capability and conduct were sound prior to raising concerns. One criterion of the scheme is that there were no significant concerns in relation to your conduct and capability at work before you raised concerns.
  • Difficulty finding suitable employment since raising concerns in the public interest — applicants need to provide evidence they have applied for suitable employment but been unsuccessful. If you are currently employed, you will also need to provide evidence you need support finding alternative suitable employment, either inside or outside your existing organisation.
  • Eligible to work in the UK: The scheme is for NHS whistleblowers — it will not apply to those who aren’t eligible to work in the UK or have criminal investigations/convictions that prevent them from working.
  • Looking for work in England — this scheme is funded for those looking for suitable employment within the NHS or social care in England. If you are looking for work outside England please contact the NHS or social care organisations for your area.

A guide to the whistleblowers’ support scheme – Our brief guide outlines how the scheme works, who is involved and what will happen if you get a place.

How to apply

Please have a look at the eligibility criteria above before you complete the application form.

You will also need to provide evidence to enable us to assess whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Submit your application form, equalities monitoring form, supporting evidence and documentation electronically to nhsi.wbss@improvement.nhs.uk.

If you need the application form and criteria printed out, or cannot submit your form electronically, e-mail nhsi.wbss@improvement.nhs.uk.

We will accept hard copies by secure post to:

Whistleblowers’ Support Scheme, NHS England and NHS Improvement, 5th floor, Skipton House, 80 London Road, London SE1 6LH.

Once we have received your application, we will send an acknowledgement of receipt within five working days. Having checked the form is complete, and accompanied by the appropriate evidence, the scheme manager will review it. The scheme manager may contact you to discuss your application, and we may decide to approve it ourselves or refer it to a panel for a decision.

Throughout this process, your information and documentation will be treated in complete confidence.

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