04 / 9 / 2015 Midnight
The Speaking Up Charter outlines a number of key principles, including:
- safety should be at the heart of all care and should be seen as the responsibility of everyone involved in the provision of health and social care services recognising that staff engagement in the development and delivery of our services is fundamental
- employers should be encouraged to develop their own statement of values for all staff and these should be well communicated and understood by everyone in the organisation
- policies which support staff to raise concerns should be continuously reviewed and evaluated to ensure they are effective
- individuals should be encouraged to raise concerns and be fully supported to do so right the way through the process, not just at the point they raise the concern
- the use of any such clause which seeks to prevent a member of staff or ex employee from making patient safety, or other such related disclosures, are not acceptable
- adequate training and support should be provided for managers so that they understand their roles and responsibilities in the handling of concerns raised with them, and are able to respond appropriately.
The key purpose of the Charter was to recognise that in order to enable a cultural shift in the NHS, we need to ensure that leadership comes from national organisations. Over thirty organisations have pledged a commitment to leading the way on this agenda as independent organisations; recognising their separate but linked responsibilities for key aspects of the provision and regulation of care, and for supporting their staff and members to provide high quality, safe care.
The Speaking Up Charter, launched on 15 October 2012, was developed as one of the outcomes following our Whistleblowing Summit.
It was attended by representatives from regulatory bodies, professional regulators, health unions and professional associations with the key aim of looking at more collaborative working to address the issues which prevent staff from reporting concerns about safety or other such issue. It also looked to identify what more we need to do independently to support NHS staff and/or members to speak up when they witness or are made aware of behaviours or conduct which may raise a patient safety or other concern.