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Epsom and St Helier backs Speak Out Safely campaign


Nursing staff at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust are making personal pledges on how they can make patient services “as good as they possibly can be”.

The trust, which provides services across north east Surrey and south west London, has also become the latest NHS organisation to sign up to our Speak Out Safely campaign.

It has launched a project called the Francis Conversation, in response to the publication in February of the public inquiry report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The project is intended to ensure staff at the trust’s four hospitals can have their say about the Francis report and how it can ensure a similar situation could not develop at Epsom and St Helier.

A series of feedback events have already been held and staff are now making individual pledges to improve patient care.

For example, the trust’s older person assessment liaison nurse Sue Cook said: “I promise to end every working day by going to have a cup of tea with a patient who has dementia.”

Meanwhile, joint head of nursing Tracy Smith added: “I pledge to be as visible as I can be across the wards of our hospitals, so that any member of nursing staff can stop to speak to me, raise a concern or give feedback.”

In addition, the trust as a whole has signed up to the Speak Out Safely campaign, which was launched by Nursing Times in March with the aim of making it easier for staff to raise legitimate concerns. One of our key targets is for all trusts to pledge their support for the campaign.

To date 26 acute trusts have pledged to support the campaign as have eight CCGs, 14 community trusts and four mental health trusts.

Epsom and St Helier chief executive Matthew Hopkins said: “The Francis report, and the failings it looked into, was an absolute wake up call for hospital trusts across the country.

“We have to make sure that that we do not become complacent and never take our eyes off what matters most – our patients,” he said.

“That’s why our Francis Conversation events and the Speak Out Safely initiatives are so important – without listening to concerns or taking in feedback, we would never be able to improve the work that we do, or prevent untoward incidents,” he added.


Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.


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