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Child abuse whistleblowing helpline launched for nurses

A leading charity and the government have launched a new whistleblowing helpline for nurses to speak out about child protection failures.

It will handle calls from healthcare employees from any sector, who are afraid to raise concerns about the way their organisation is dealing with cases of child abuse, or who feel they have exhausted all avenues with their employer directly.

The new national phone line and email support will be run by NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and open Monday to Friday.

Peter Wanless NSPCC chief executive said: “Too often people with concerns have kept silent because they have been fearful of the consequences for their jobs, and this can have devastating consequences for the children involved. A feature of the child abuse scandals of recent years has been people who said they thought something wasn't right but were unsure whether they could discuss their concerns confidentially outside their organisation.

“The new Whistleblowing Helpline is a vital new initiative and will provide a confidential, safe place for anyone who has concerns and wants support or advice.”

The government has provided £500,000 to set up the helpline in this financial year and Karen Bradley, the minister for preventing abuse, exploitation and crime, said: "Some employers are making great strides in strengthening whistleblowing processes. But more can be done to encourage employees to report malpractice without fear of victimisation… No one should be afraid to report concerns about failures in child protection.”

The helpline number is 0800 028 0285. The line is available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and the NSPCC whistleblowing e-mail address is: help@nspcc.org.uk