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Trust encourages staff to ‘Speak Out Safely’

Nursing Times Speak Out Safely

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust is committed to supporting staff and volunteers to raise concerns about the safety and quality of patient care.

To reinforce this commitment, the Trust has pledged its support to the Nursing Times ‘Speak Out Safely’ campaign.

Beverly Ingram, director of nursing and therapies, said: “We are signing up to the ‘Speak Out Safely’ campaign as we fully support the principles which have been set out.

“As a Trust, we do not tolerate care that is unsafe, or that puts patients, staff or service users at risk in any way and neither do we tolerate inappropriate behaviour.

“We know that our staff are often the best people to identify any factors which may jeopardise the safety and care of patients and to recognise when care falls below the standard our patients deserve. We want all of our staff to know it is safe for them to speak up when they feel something is wrong.

“Several mechanisms are in place to ensure that there is a comprehensive system to support staff in raising concerns in the most appropriate and timely way. We are committed to investigating concerns in whatever way they are raised.”

The pledge to the Speak Out Safely principles states:

“This trust supports Nursing Times’ Speak Out Safely campaign.

“This means we encourage any staff member who has a genuine patient safety concern to raise this within our organisation at the earliest opportunity.

“Patient safety is our prime concern and we believe our staff are often best placed to identify where care may be falling below the standard our patients deserve. In order to ensure our high standards continue to be met, we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns with their line manager, or another member of the management team. We want everyone in the organisation to feel able to highlight wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way.

“We promise that where staff identify a genuine patient safety concern, we shall not treat them with prejudice and they will not suffer any detriment to their career. Instead, we will support them, fully investigate and, if appropriate, act on their concern. We will also give them feedback about how we have responded to the issue they have raised, as soon as possible.

“It is not disloyal to colleagues to raise concerns; it is a duty to our patients. Misconduct or malpractice should never be tolerated, while mistakes and poor practice may reveal a colleague needs more training or support, or that we need to change systems or processes. Your concerns will be dealt with in an open and supportive manner because we rely on you to ensure we deliver a safe service and ensure patient safety is not compromised. We also want this organisation to have the confidence to admit to mistakes and to use them as learning opportunities.

“Whether you are a permanent employee, an agency or temporary staff member, or a volunteer, please speak up when you feel something is wrong. We want you to be able to Speak Out Safely.”

If you want to learn more about the Nursing Times campaign, visit their website www.nursingtimes.net/opinion/speak-out-safely.