Of all the recommendations, analysis, commentary and follow up reports coming out of the public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the key area that gets the most press attention is the issue of raising concerns (more commonly referred to as 'whistleblowing'). There has been much debate recognising that legislative drivers and guidance will only take us so far, and that taking action quickly and effectively is absolutely crucial – we are all well aware of the catastrophic effects when concerns are not raised and dealt with appropriately.
The Freedom to Speak Up review led by Sir Robert Francis QC, recognises that since reporting on the failings at Mid Staffordshire, much progress has been made in the NHS but there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed if we are to continue building a culture of improvement and learning.
Protecting patients from harm and ensuring dignity of care requires an open and transparent culture at all levels of the system, but getting it right is no easy task.
As an organisation that represents employers in the NHS across England, we have hosted a number of debates, webinars and seminars on the issue of raising concerns in the workplace. We have updated guidance and produced a number of on-line materials for organisations to download to raise the profile of the importance of raising concerns.
We are fully engaged in the range of programmes that are underway to help influence the changes that need to happen to embed the right kind of culture and behaviours which enable NHS staff to raise concerns. We also work closely with the professional and system regulators, national Whistleblowing Helpline (for health and social care), health unions, and other interested parties.
Information and resources
- guidance for employers - signposting employers to guidance, policy and legislative drivers, and our responses to the various reviews and consultations about the issue of raising concerns
- tools and resources - see our free downloadable communication tools and frequently asked questions
- campaign activity - for further information about our Draw the Line campaign launched in February this year, and to access our on-line resources for managers, including a logo which can be used to drive local campaign activity, an outline presentation to gain board commitment, self assessment tool to temperature gauge your organisation's raising concerns culture, and guidance for managers
- guidance for staff - signposting staff to further information, advice and support
- Sir Robert Francis review of whistleblowing processes - the latest information about the 'Freedom to Speak Up' review into whistleblowing in the NHS
- shared learning - keeping you up to date with different approaches being undertaken by other NHS organisations across the country
- the Speaking Up Charter (2012) - working collaboratively with professional and system regulators, health unions, and other professional bodies to influence a change in culture in the NHS