Draw the line event and upcoming activity

Draw the Line

28 / 4 / 2015 8.38am

On Tuesday 21 April 2015 NHS Employers brought together a mix of guest presenters, NHS organisations, HR directors and senior managers, to discuss the issue of raising concerns.

Timely with the publication of Sir Robert Francis Freedom to Speak Up report, the day was focused on providing delegates with time and space to think about some of the principles and specific actions that employers are faced with implementing locally to improve the culture around raising concerns.

Summary of the day

Nyla Cooper, Programme Lead, Development and Employment Team at NHS Employers set the scene, highlighting the work NHS Employers is doing to support employers, including the publication of our Draw the line toolkit which is designed to assist managers in their local engagement and communications with their senior teams and staff.

Caroline Waterfield, Deputy Director of the Development and Employment Team, then provided delegates with some of the principles and actions from the Freedom to Speak Up report published in February 2015. This session was designed to facilitate discussion around the implications for employers, identify some of the challenges and solutions in meeting the key actions identified in the report and, where they have already started to make progress at a local level in driving forward a positive reporting culture, opportunity to share some of the approaches and learning. 

Helen Wilmslow, Clinical Fellow from Health Education England (HEE) then showcased their new patient safety video. The video is the first of a suite of audio-visual training resources being developed by HEE which are targeted at supporting healthcare professionals to raise and respond to patient safety concerns

Delegates then heard from Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive from Barking, Havering and Redbridge in his presentation 'Someone to talk to: the guardian service'

After lunch, Sarah Rushbrooke, Deputy Chief Nurse from the Royal Marsden, talked about what contributes to their positive culture and how this positively affects staff and their confidence to raise a concern.

Steven Weeks, Policy Manager for Staff Engagement at NHS Employers then talked to delegates about the different approaches, issues and lessons learnt in relation to staff engagement. For further information about NHS Employers programme of work on staff engagement and how to understand the NHS Staff Survey results, please see the NHS Employers website.

Ann Stringer, Executive Director of HR from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust gave the final presentation, outlining their journey so far and the benefits of good staff engagement. 

Other documents from the event:


We've had some really positive feedback from the event. Here are just some of the comments taken from the evaluation:

  • 'Face to face very powerful'
  • 'Very enjoyable - thank you'
  • 'Going forwards with confidence to encourage staff to raise concerns'
  • 'Has given me a number of actions to follow up'
  • 'Great discussion and policy revision'
  • 'Useful resources'
  • 'Self-assessment tool really well designed and will be very useful in determining where we are'

Delegates also committed to doing something differently on return to their organisations. Read a summary of their pledges.

What's next?

NHS Employers has taken on board all the feedback and suggestions provided at the event. We are currently assessing what employers need to take forward some of the actions and how we can best support this. Delegates have agreed to become part of a virtual expert network to ensure NHS Employers is kept aware of local developments, progress and any issues. If you would like to join the network please email adele.bunch@nhsemployers.org.

Key support employers feel NHS Employers can provide them with:

  • training
  • helping to make raising concerns inclusive of the whole workforce
  • clarifying the role of the local guardian and what this looks like in practice
  • sharing best practice
  • co-ordination of a virtual forum
  • more tools and resources for example support to triangulate staff feedback and quality metrics
  • bespoke tools - for community settings.

Please stay in touch and share your local developments and learning.

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