Speak Out Safely - protecting staff who raise concerns
One of the major findings of the Francis inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was that staff who raised concerns about patient care were not taken seriously. Some were even bullied and threatened, and received no protection from their employer.
The situation at Mid Staffs is far from unique – many staff working for the NHS and other healthcare providers have raised concerns within their organisations and have suffered personally and/or professionally. They have been bullied by colleagues, discredited by their employers or even lost their jobs.
At Nursing Times we want to help ensure that healthcare providers listen to, support and value staff who raise concerns about the quality of care, and learn from the issues they raise.
Our Speak Out Safely (SOS) campaign aims to encourage NHS organisations and independent healthcare providers to develop cultures that are honest and transparent, to actively encourage staff to raise the alarm when they see poor practice, and to protect them when they do so.
- The government to introduce a statutory duty of candour compelling health professionals and managers to be open about care failings
- Trusts to sign up to our campaign, making a public commitment to supporting staff who raise concerns
- The government to undertake a wholesale review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act, to ensure whistleblowers who take concerns outside their organisation if they are not taken seriously internally are fully protected.
Which acute trusts are signed up to SOS?
- Ashford and St. Peter's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Bedford Hospital NHS Trust
- Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
- Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
- Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Medway NHS Foundation Trust
- Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation trust
- Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
- Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS
- Nottingham University NHS Hospitals Trust
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
- South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust
- Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
- Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHA Foundation Trust
Which community trusts are signed up?
- Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Bristol Community Health NHS Trust
- Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust
- Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
- East London NHS Foundation Trust
- Gloucestershire Care Service NHS Trust
- Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare
- Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
- Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
- Norfolk Health and Community Care NHS Trust
- Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust
- Wirral Community NHS Trust
Which other organisations are signed up?
- Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists
- Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions and Exclusions UK
- Cure the NHS
- Florence Nightingale Foundation
- Foundation of Nursing Studies
- Mencap Whistleblowing Hotline
- MPS Healthcare
- Patients First
- Public Concern at Work
- Queen’s Nursing Institute
- Royal College of Midwives
- Royal College of Nursing
- Speak in Confidence
- Unite (including the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association and Mental Health Nurses Association)
I qualified as a nurse more than 17 years ago and, as a result of that, I have seen three governments run the NHS, continuous changes and a whole host of health-service scandals that have ended in increased scrutiny and criticism by the media and by society.
Sign our SOS petition
When the announcement came that the three acute mental health wards in the unit I worked were to become single-sex, there was uproar.