Speak out Safely
This trust supports the Nursing Times Speak Out Safely campaign. This means we encourage any staff member who has a genuine patient safety concern to raise this within the organisation at the earliest opportunity.
Patient safety is our prime concern and our staff are often best placed to identify where care may be falling below the standard our patients deserve. In order to ensure our high standards continue to be met, we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns with their line manager, or another member of the management team. We want everyone in the organisation to feel able to highlight wrong doing or poor practice when they see it and confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way.
We promise that where staff identify a genuine patient safety concern, we shall not treat them with prejudice and they will not suffer any detriment to their career. Instead, we will support them, fully investigate and, if appropriate, act on their concern. We will also give them feedback about how we have responded to the issue they have raised, as soon as possible.It is not disloyal to colleagues to raise concerns; it is a duty to our patients.
Misconduct or malpractice should never be tolerated,while mistakes and poor practice may reveal a colleague needs more training or support, or that we need to change systems or processes. Your concerns will be dealt with in an open and supportive manner because we rely on you to ensure we deliver a safe service and ensure patient safety is not put at risk. We also want this organisation to have the confidence to admit to mistakes and to use them as learning opportunities.
Whether you are a permanent employee, an agency or temporary staff member, or a volunteer, please speak up when you feel something is wrong.We want you to be able to Speak Out Safely.
Freedom to Speak Up
‘The Trust needs to create and maintain a culture where employees feel safe raising concerns in the public interest and about patient care and the whole of the organisation should work together towards achieving this goal.’
Following the Francis public inquiry, there has been a range of measures introduced to encourage, or impose a responsibility on staff to speak up. This included a further review into staff being able to raise concerns.
The review sets out 20 principles grouped under the five overarching themes:
- Culture change
- Improved handling of cases
- Measures to support good practice
- Particular measures for vulnerable groups
- Extending the legal protection
To take the principles and recommendations forward, the Trust has a Freedom to Speak Up Task and Finish Group. This group, with a wide membership comprising medical, nursing, human resources, employment engagement, legal, communication, finance and corporate governance services, carried out a review of the current feedback mechanisms in the Trust and are taking forward the recommendations in the recent review following the Francis inquiry.
These recommendations include the establishment of a Principal Guardian and Local Guardians. Our Principal Guardian will link with the national Principal Guardian, Dame Eileen Sills. The Trust has agreed that this important role will be elected by Trust staff. There is no selection process for Local Guardians – any member of staff can put themselves forward as a Local Guardian.