Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Can Morecambe Bay lead the way in raising concerns?

  • Comments (1)

As a board member of a trust put into special measures after a series of high-profile problems including patient deaths, a director of nursing’s first instinct might be to stay below the media parapet – even if the problems didn’t happen on her watch. However, Sue Smith of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust has come out fighting to change perceptions of her trust and in particular its nurses and midwives in an exclusive interview with Nursing Times.

Ms Smith is making it clear that the trust is learning from the tragic errors in its recent past, and using the lessons to improve care and patient safety. She is also pointing out the “cracking job” frontline nurses and midwives are now doing, keen for them to get recognition for their achievements.

And Ms Smith is determined to ensure the trust continues learning from problems and adverse incidents. However, in future she wants that learning to take place at an early stage, before minor problems escalate and lead to tragedies.

Sue Smith

Sue Smith

She believes the trust, an early supporter of our Speak Out Safely campaign, has now created a culture in which staff are encouraged and helped to raise concerns and that these will be addressed rather than ignored or covered up.

The trust still has much to do to get a clean bill of health from the Care Quality Commission. However, it’s refreshing to see a director of nursing so determined to help it move on from the tragedies of its past without forgetting them or their impact on patients, families and the wider community.

Perhaps Morecambe Bay will become one of the first healthcare providers where staff who raise concerns are celebrated and acknowledged as crucial to maintaining quality and safety.

  • Comments (1)

Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    "Perhaps Morecambe Bay will become one of the first healthcare providers where staff who raise concerns are celebrated and acknowledged as crucial to maintaining quality and safety."


    I hope so. If they manage it I would urge them to model that to the trusts both north and south of them who are in dire need of such leadership.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.