Morecambe Bay installs post boxes for staff to raise concerns
A trust at the centre of a recent scandal over poor care has launched a “safety station” scheme to allow nurses to report concerns about safety or quality of care anonymously.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, which has signed up to Nursing Times’ Speak Out Safely campaign, is installing special post boxes and comment cards at each of its three sites to encourage staff to give confidential feedback.
Nurses will get regular updates on action taken as a result of any concerns they have raised as part of the initiative, which launched last week.
Mangers at the trust, which has embarked on a turnaround programme in the light of maternity care failings, said the scheme was part of an ongoing commitment to listen to staff and patients.
“The ‘safety stations’ give staff the opportunity to raise concerns in real time and mean they don’t have to go through a complicated process to raise a concern,” deputy chief nurse Mary Moore told Nursing Times.
She said feedback cards would be read at least once a week by senior staff such as herself, the deputy medical director and medical director.
“Staff know the cards will be read by senior staff who will then make a judgement on whether it’s a serious concern that needs immediate attention or something that can be tackled as part of planned work,” Ms Moore said.
Staff will be told what action has been taken via a monthly “you said, we did” bulletin.
Safety station boxes will be placed in areas staff use a lot such as near staff entrances and canteens with the scheme set to be extended to patients in the near future.
“It was something that was suggested by our patients and their families and something that works well in industry,” said Ms Moore.
“It feels like the right thing to do and the right time to be doing it. There’s a very optimistic feeling in the trust as we continue on our improvement journey.”
Other efforts to boost patient safety and ensure staff feel confident raising concerns include more one-to-one supervision with line managers and rigorous safety and risk checks at handovers, she added.
- Four more community services providers pledged to support Speak Out Safely last week, taking the total number of organisations backing our campaign to more than 60.
The latest organisations are: Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust, Wirral Community Health, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust and Bristol Community Health, a social enterprise providing NHS funded services.
Find out more at www.nursingtimes.net/sos