Resources, campaign materials and shared learning

Draw the Line

03 / 8 / 2016 Midnight

We have a suite of tools and resources, including our Draw the line: together we can make a difference campaign for employers, to help identify gaps and improve raising concerns locally.

Draw the line manager's campaign

Our Draw the line campaign is designed to help employers sense check where their organisation is with raising concerns and help facilitate engagement between managers and the board to raise awareness about the importance of getting it right.

The campaign contains of a logo, template presentation and 'how to use' guide, manager's guide to raising concerns and a self-assessment tool.

Visit the campaign section and download the free resources.

Raising concerns poster for staff

Our raising concerns poster has been designed for you to download and use in your staff communications to help raise awareness of raising concerns and the correct process for doing so. It provides examples of public interest concerns, how to effectively raise them and where to access further information. 

Raising concerns posters

We worked with the Social Partnership Forum to produce a suite of downloadable posters that can help raise awareness. There are three very different designs for you to use, allowing you to cascade the same message periodically.

Each design offers you the option to customise by inserting your organisation name and contact details of the designated officer(s) within your organisation in the free text boxes.

You can also download our communications toolkit for some useful tips here.

Ten top tips for raising concerns

Ten top tips for raising concerns can be used as a payslip insert, a handout for staff or can be shared electronically on your local intranet. Download your copy from our case studies and resources section.

Frequently asked questions

See our FAQ's page for answers to the most frequently asked employer questions relating to whistleblowing policy, effective arrangements and what the law says. 

Shared learning and how to share your local progress

The NHS is rich in good practice examples and shared learning and this section showcases some of the positive steps NHS organisations have already undertaken which supports staff to raise patient safety (and other) concerns early on; and share some of the challenges and learning.

  • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has introduced an engagement platform, designed to engage all staff both in the hospital and community settings. Find out the benefits so far in 'How to engage 4,500 staff over 1,500 miles'. 
  • South Essex Partnership University Hospitals NHS Trust worked with staff to elect their Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Suzanne Deighton. Find out the benefits of this approach in 'Implementing the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role'.
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has three guardians in place along with a raising concerns ambassador. Find out how they engaged with staff to identify local needs and how their model is working in practice in 'The guardian team: working together to champion raising concerns'.
  • Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust has created a culture where staff feel able to openly raise concerns. Find out how the trust managed a large service configuration and how they communicated with staff during large scale change in 'Raising concerns in a good culture - the journey so far'.
  • Find out about the role of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian 'Someone to talk to - the Guardian Service' and the difference it is making to the raising concerns culture in Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has committed to taking a transparent approach with patients, carers and staff members as demonstrated by its ‘Let’s Talk’ initiative. Read more about the success of their afternoon with the chief executive sessions and the transparent culture in the trust.
  • Find out how Staffordshire and Stoke On Trent Partnership NHS Trust have created a more to ensure that individuals have the support they need when they raise a concern. 
  • Wrightlington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust commissioned the development of a staff engagement tool called Go Engage. Find out how it allows them to regularly assess morale and engagement amongst staff.
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) have developed a framework for listening to improve which aims to support culture change. Dr Amar Shah, Quality Improvement Lead & Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at the trust shares their ideas. 
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) think it is important that all staff have a number of tools to raise their concerns early, and anonymously if they prefer. BSMHFT has a formal whistleblowing policy but has also now developed ‘Dear John’ which is a more informal tool devised and implemented by the trust to enable staff to raise their concerns. 

We'd like to hear from you 

If you or your organisation have successfully implemented work in any of the areas outlined above, we would be keen to hear from you.

We're particularly interested to hear of any work undertaken on:

  • local campaigns or awareness raising to encourage and inform staff about how and when to raise a concern (e.g. introduction of confidential helplines, communication of rights and protections under PIDA, clarity on roles and responsibilities, who to contact, how and when, training)
  • encouraging openness and transparency (e.g. staff engagement, encouraging staff in joint decision making around assuring safer patient care, effective communication and open reporting)
  • changing culture and behaviours (e.g. removing barriers, communicating organisational values, mediation, zero tolerance approach to staff who bully and harass colleagues as a result of them raising a concern) 
  • developing leadership programmes (e.g. processes which aim to ensure board assurance, training or support for managers, visibility of senior team).

Your example will be showcased on our website and, as a basic guide, should briefly outline the area of good practice, provide sources that informed your approach, include expected or achieved outcomes, cover any learning and challenges and include a contact for further questions.

If you would like to talk through, or share what your organisation is doing, please email   

Raising concerns podcasts 

Adele Bunch from the Development and Employment Team speaks to Zoe Brown, Safety and Experience Lead from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust about her experience of raising concerns which led to her role championing and supporting staff with concerns. Listen to the podcast.

Caroline Waterfield from the Development and Employment Team catches up with Helene Donelly, Ambassador of Cultural Change to talk more about her work on raising staff awareness about how to raise a concern and support available to them. Listen to the podcast

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