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.
Draw the Line
In February 2015 we also launched the Draw the Line campaign which we have been commissioned to deliver by NHS England. The campaign includes the publication of a series of new on-line resources for managers. All are targeted at supporting NHS organisations to implement and embed frameworks that affect a change in culture and raise awareness of the different approaches being successfully adopted across the country and across sectors, to share that journey of learning.
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 national Whistleblowing Helpline (for health and social care), health unions, and other interested parties.
Information and resources
HSJ raising concerns feature
- this HSJ
feature on raising concerns contains commentary from Dean Royles
and includes case studies from East London NHS Trust Birmingham and Solihull
Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Whistleblowing we have two problems - Dean Royles looks at some of the more challenging issues and different approaches
Francis - one year on - another interesting blog from Dean Royles about the changes one year on from the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire