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

Sturgeon calls for staff to report safety concerns

  • 4 Comments

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said all NHS staff should feel free to report concerns about patient safety.

It follows a survey at the weekend which suggests more than one-third of Scottish nurses have been discouraged or told not to report concerns about issues such as staffing levels and patient safety.

Ms Sturgeon, standing in for Alex Salmond at first minister’s questions, said: “Let me make it absolutely clear: I will not tolerate a situation where NHS staff are told not to report patient-safety concerns.”

She was asked by Labour MSP Richard Simpson to respond to the poll, conducted by the Royal College of Nursing.

The survey suggested 37% of nurses have been put off reporting any concerns.

It also showed that 84% of nurses are worried about victimisation, reprisals or a negative effect on their career if they were to report anything, while only 29% are confident their employer would protect them if they spoke up.

The RCN polled 3,151 of its members across the UK in October and November 2011, including 345 in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said all members of staff have statutory protection to raise issues of concern under the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

She added: “Publicly today I send out a very strong message to all of those working in the NHS that patient safety is paramount. It is their responsibility, it is my responsibility and anyone with concerns should feel free to raise them.”

Mr Simpson called for a confidential, national whistle-blowing helpline for all NHS staff.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • But does Nicola Sturgeon appreciate that, with the NHS set-up in Scotland being regional boards, if you dare 'upset' your employer by raising a concern, your NHS career is over unless, mid-recession and with nursing job cuts, you can move house/get a job in another region? If you try and stay put your working life is made intolerable.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "all NHS staff should feel free to report concerns about patient safety."

    what is blatantly obvious to nurses and all those who witness substandard and unacceptable care for whatever reason (just as people would complain about any other service, but in the NHS it is even more urgent and vital because it affects human lives and reflects upon the wellbeing of the entire staff, patients and their relatives and reputation of the organisation as a caring institution) but employers and their managers especially and everybody working in the organisation (who may bully or ostracise the whistle blower) need to be made to understand this.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous | 9-Dec-2011 12:16 pm
    my post above - I suppose it should read

    "...which is blatantly obvious..."

    sorry

    don't have time to proofread it again for further grammatical errors!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • But does Nicola Sturgeon appreciate that, with the NHS set-up in Scotland being regional boards, if you dare 'upset' your employer by raising a concern, your NHS career is over unless, mid-recession and with nursing job cuts, you can move house/get a job in another region? If you try and stay put your working life is made intolerable.

    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.