The community and social care trust that employs former Mid Staffordshire nurse and whistleblower Helene Donnelly has given its support to our Speak Out Safely campaign.
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust is the first non-acute trust to back our SOS campaign, which aims to bring about an NHS that encourages staff to raise safety concerns and protects them when they do so.
Among its campaign goals, Nursing Times is calling on all NHS providers to make an explicit commitment to staff that they will not face disciplinary action for raising genuine patient safety concerns.
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership is one of the largest community service providers in the country and employs 6,000 staff. Since April last year it has also provided adult social care services for people in Staffordshire, with the exception of Stoke.
It employs Ms Donnelly as a nurse practitioner at its Haywood Hospital Walk-in Centre in Stoke. In April she was given an extra role as the trust’s first “ambassador for cultural change” with a brief to support staff in raising concerns and ensure the voice of frontline staff was heard clearly at a senior level.
As will be known to regular readers of Nursing Times, Ms Donnelly previously worked in the A&E department at Stafford Hospital and was a key witness at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC.
In its statement support the SOS campaign, the trust said: “We want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns about 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 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.”
Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.