The case of the disappearing whistleblower: an analysis of National Health Service inquiries

Martin Powell, John Blenkinsopp, Huw Davies, Russell Mannion, Ross Millar, Jean McHale, Nicholas Snowden

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It has been recognized that whistleblowing is important to detect failings in many sectors within many nations. Many serious failings in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) are brought to light by the action of whistleblowers. However, analysis of the reports of public inquiries reveal how little the inquiries examined the role of the whistleblower and how rarely they made any recommendations concerning NHS whistleblowing. The authors examine the case of the disappearing whistleblower, and suggest reasons for the limited focus on them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Money & Management
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme (Grant No. 14/04/033); project title ‘Understanding employee whistleblowing in health care’; co-applicants R. Mannion, J. Blenkinsopp, R. Millar, M. Powell, J. McHale and H. T. O Davies. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR programme.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Health services
  • implementation
  • inquiries
  • post-inquiry learning
  • National Health Service
  • UK
  • whistleblowing


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