Myth: the new contract still doesn't offer whistleblowing protection.
Statutory whistleblowing protection covers the employer/employee relationship.
HEE (Health Education England) has accepted it too has significant influence over a trainee's career, although it isn't the employer.
A new legal agreement has been made to extend statutory protection to the HEE/trainee relationship. This can't help those with claims made before the agreement came into place, but will help those making claims in the future.
Myth: exception reporting is always a form of whistleblowing.
Exception reporting generally would not be considered a protected disclosure. Most exception reports are made because your work has varied from your work schedule, which isn't illegal.
If you exception reported a breach of the upper safety limits/rest requirements, this could be considered a qualifying disclosure as there is a possible impact on patient safety.
If you received detrimental treatment by your employer as a result of an exception report, you would be covered by normal statutory protections for employees.
If you received detrimental treatment by HEE as a result of an exception report, the HEE agreement would apply. This would almost certainly never be required, as exception reports are a feature of the contract between you and your employer only.
Myth: it might negatively impact my career progression if I exception report.
This is absolutely not true. The BMA's top priority is to support our members to exception report confidently and to receive the benefits of this.
Exception reporting needs to be both part of and a driver of wider cultural change. It isn't about admitting 'weakness' or complaining - it's about being honest about the huge pressures the NHS is under and working together to fix them.
If you feel unable to exception report, tell us. There's lots we can do to help you.
Myth: there's no point in exception reporting.
Exception reporting is a contractual right. It is unacceptable for your employer to stop you accessing this in any way, including with pressure or bullying.
The new contract clearly requires a resolution to all exception reports - either pay, TOIL, a work schedule review or all of the above. The outcome should be agreed with you.
If your employer won't provide an acceptable resolution, tell us and we will challenge them.
Myth: I need to get prior authorisation before submitting an exception report.
You do not need to seek authorisation of any kind before submitting an exception report.
Exception reporting is a mechanism to inform the employer when work has varied from the work schedule. It is not a request.
There should be an opportunity to provide 'an outline of the steps the doctor has taken to resolve matters before escalation (if any)', but this is not a requirement to submit a report.