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


The big question: should all trusts have ambassadors for cultural change?


The Commons’ health select committee recently heard that “very little” had changed for frontline staff, despite the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust calling for a new culture where staff were encouraged and supported to speak out.

“There is a shift beginning. But when it really filters down to the frontline staff, then there is very little change,” said Helene Donnelly, one of the nurses who blew the whistle on poor care at Mid Staffordshire.

Ms Donnelly, now a nurse practitioner at Staffordshire and Stoke Partnership Trust, has pioneered the role of ambassador for cultural change at her new organisation.

She maintained that her ambassador role was one of the few measures currently making a difference to frontline staff.

Ms Donnelly also said she was being contacted by NHS staff from around the UK, because “there is no role like mine in their organisation and they don’t know who to go to”.

Would you welcome an ambassador for cultural change role at your trust?


Readers' comments (6)

  • michael stone

    1 Yes, they should

    2 Whether the presence of 'ambassadors' does result in more raising of concerns, should then be assessed

    3 If it doesn't work well enough, some 'stronger development' of the 'ambassador idea' should then be tried

    4 As I've repeatedly said, the important bit is to somehow work out how to protect the concern raiser from 'possible bullying', while still looking into the validity of the concern, and if it is valid, pushing for a solution/improvement.

    5 Just SAYING TO STAFF 'you have a duty to speak up' ISN'T ENOUGH.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ms Donnelly certainly presented a very strong case recently to the NMC and MPs but it just seems sad there is a need for such a post and taking yet more nurses away from the front line. However, as long as these problems remain Ms Donnelly needs massive support. She cannot do the job for the whole NHS and represent all of their staff alone.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    The big question: should all trusts have ambassadors for cultural change?

    YES! Next big question.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Having a person to turn to when we have concerns can only be a good thing.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Managers set an organisation's culture. They have to want the culture to change.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The government should have to prove that it has responded adequately to the Francis report. Not much headway has been made to change culture.

    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.