NHS Employers comments on RCN survey on whistleblowing

Dean Royles

23 / 4 / 2013 Midnight

Dean Royles says NHS organisations need to do more to convince staff it is important to raise patient care issues and that it is safe to do so.
Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: 

"Despite enormous efforts by employers to encourage staff to raise concerns, the findings of the RCN's survey show that we need to do more to convince staff it is important to raise patient care issues and that it is safe to do so. The RCN will know many organisations do this well and could help could help by highlighting that good practice also exists. 

"Many local organisations are doing great work to build an open and honest culture where staff are actively encouraged to raise concerns about patient care. These organisations are constantly improving the quality and safety of the services they provide to patients, based on staff raising concerns and offering suggestions.

"The most recent staff survey shows that 90 per cent of staff say they would know how to report any concerns they have and 72 per cent would feel safe raising these concerns.

"We don't always get it right and sometimes genuine concerns can be overlooked and not properly acted on. The failings in care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation trust show just how tragic the consequences can be for patients when we don't take action.

"The health service genuinely wants concerns raised. We should be praising staff who go out of their way to raise concerns and ensuring the processes for doing so fully clear and transparent. We know if problems are caught earlier, it is easier to address them. This is better all round for patients and staff doing the crucial work they do."

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