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Morecambe Bay pledges staff can speak out safely

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University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust has written to its staff to tell them it is supporting our Speak Out Safely campaign.

The trust is currently the focus of a turnaround programme and has changed its senior leadership team since it came under scrutiny following a number of infant and maternal deaths at Furness General Hospital’s maternity unit between 2004 and 2008.

An independent inquiry into the events surrounding the deaths is due to begin once an ongoing police investigation has completed.

The trust announced its support for Speak Out Safely today, adding a campaign pledge and logo to its website.

In a joint letter to staff (attached, right), trust chair John Cowdall and chief executive Jackie Daniel said: “By joining this campaign, along with other caring organisations, we are restating our commitment to developing a culture of actively encouraging our staff to raise the alarm when they see poor practice, and critically, to support them when they do so.

“Our whistleblowing policy makes it very clear that staff will be supported if they raise concerns regarding poor practice or standards of care.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will be rolling out a number of initiatives to assist staff to raise the alarm,” they added.

James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died in 2008 at the Furness maternity unit, described the trust’s support for the Speak Out Safely campaign as “great news for staff and patients”.

Last month Mr Titcombe was appointed as national advisor on patient safety, culture and quality for the healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission.

The Speak Out Safely campaign launched earlier this year by Nursing Times aims to make it easier for staff to raise legitimate concerns about patient safety.

One of our key aims is for all trusts to pledge their support for the campaign and add specific protection for staff raising concerns to whistleblowing policies.

This week is NTSOS week. Visit our Speak Out Safely web page to see what is going on, who supports the campaign, get involved or to simply find out more.

Eight more acute hospital trusts around the country have pledged to the support the campaign this week, bringing the total to 16.

Overall, 29 NHS organisations have so far officially backed the campaign by publishing our logo and pledge on their website.

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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