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Full survey results: are you safe to speak out?

  • 3 Comments

Nursing Times revealed on Sunday the key findings from a survey of nearly 850 nurses on their views about raising concerns and whistleblowing. We have now published the full results

The survey “Are you safe to speak out?” was conducted online between 26 February and 1 March. A total of 847 nurses took part in the survey

 

How prepared would you be to raise concerns about a colleague’s practice or attitude?%
I would always be prepared to raise concerns42.9
I would sometimes be prepared to raise concerns, depending on their seriousness 51.7
I would never be prepared to raise concerns3.7
Don’t know 1.8

 

How would you most likely go about raising concerns initially? %
Have an informal chat with the person you had concerns about 37.3
Pass on your concerns to your line manager or a more senior colleague 55.2
Pass on your concerns to your employer via incident reporting system 4.5
Ask to talk to a director or other senior manager 1.8
Go straight to a regulator, such as NMC or CQC 1.2

 

How would you most likely go about raising concerns if your initial attempt was not acted upon? %
Have an informal chat with the person you had concerns about 2.0
Pass on your concerns to your line manager or a more senior colleague 48.3
Pass on your concerns to your employer via incident reporting system 19.9
Ask to talk to a director or other senior manager 24.2
Go straight to a regulator, such as NMC or CQC 5.6

 

Would you be prepared to ‘whistleblow’ to the media if your concerns were not acted upon by your organisation or a regulator? %
Yes21.7
No34.2
Don’t know44.2

 

Have you ever raised concerns about a colleague’s practice or attitude?%
Yes, regularly 5.6
Yes, several times18.2
Yes, a few times 36.9
Yes, once 23.4
No 15.9

 

If you answered yes to question 5, did it lead to an appropriate outcome in relation to the colleague’s practice or attitude? %
Yes 33.5
No 52.4
Don’t know 14.1

 

If you answered yes to question 5, did raising concerns have any consequences for you? %
Yes, it had negative consequences 51.7
Yes, it had positive consequences 7.9
No 40.4

 

If you answered yes to question 5, would you do it again if you saw bad practice?%
Yes, definitely 56.0
Yes, probably28.5
No 5.3
Don’t know 10.2

 

What are the biggest barriers to raising concerns about a colleague’s practice or attitude where you work?%
Lack of standard procedures for raising concerns where I work 3.7
Failure to act on concerns by line managers 24.0
Failure to act on concerns by senior managers 16.4
Risk of being viewed as troublemaker by employer 27.6
Threat of bullying by colleagues 15.5
There are no barriers to raising concerns where I work 12.8

 

How do you feel generally about the ability of nursing staff to raise concerns in the NHS or wider healthcare sector? %
It’s as good as it can be 2.6
It could be a bit better 17.8
It could be a lot better 79.6

 

How would you best describe the organisation you work for?%
Acute FT14.3
Acute NHS trust 42.1
Mental health FT6.0
Mental health NHS trust10.7
Community services trust15.8
GP practice 2.6
Private sector provider 4.5
Care home 3.9

 

Which of the following job titles best describes your role? %
Student nurse 2.9
Healthcare assistant 2.2
Staff nurse 49.5
Ward sister/charge nurse 14.1
Clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner 22.7
Matron1.4
Nurse manager6.9
Director of nursing0.4

 

Which country do you work in?%
England 79.2
Scotland 9.6
Wales 4.0
Northern Ireland 2.0
Overseas 5.3

Visit our Speak out Safely page to find out more about our campaign.

As part of the campaign we are calling on the government to implement recommendations from the Francis report that will increase protection for staff who raise concerns about patient care, and create a more open NHS. Support our campaign by signing our petition

 

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • Nurses are going to find things very difficult in the near future i recommend that they keep records of all actions and conversations and where possible get them signed off by the recipient. it sounds very paranoid but just wait the future is coming they already have no support from management .

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  • I, with nursing colleagues, attempted to address unsafe practice. We offered creative and do-able ideas to make the practice safe. The management insisted what was being asked of all staff was safe; we evidenced that it was not. The NMC, when asked for guidance, said we had to follow our Code of Conduct; they would not advocate for us and we then had to proceed with grievance against the Trust.

    We, of course, lost the grievance. We were then given the choice of accepting the new practice or have our jobs terminated. We all sadly accepted this and were re-employed under new contracts. The Trust shortly afterwards implemented virtually all of our ideas to make the service a safe one.

    The point with this example is that with Trusts acting as described, what hope is there? And with the NMC taking a hands off attitude with no support or advocacy what hope have nurses to really affect change?

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  • Anonymous | 8-Mar-2013 1:18 pm

    The bit about the NMC sounds horribly familiar. I had a concern about something and went to the NMC for guidance and had a similar response, a reference to the Code of Conduct. When I pointed out that I was well aware of what the Code of Conduct said, but that it did not cover the situation I had raised and therefore was asking for guidance I didn't even get a response!

    Admittedly, this was before the recent changes, so who knows, it may be different now, not sure how recent your experience was?

    Perhaps this is something NT can help us campaign for - a regulatory body that provides proper guidance for those grey areas which will surely continue to arise, especially in the context of changing NHS structures and the emergence of technology etc.

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