Raising Concerns at Work - Freedom to Speak Up

Our aim is to deliver the best possible services to our patients, their carers and families. An important part of achieving this is creating an open and honest reporting culture, where everyone feels safe to raise concerns at work.

Patient safety is our prime concern and our staff are often best placed to identify where care may be falling below the standard our patients deserve. In order to ensure our high standards continue to be met, we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns with their line manager, or another member of the management team. We want everyone in the organisation to feel able to highlight wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and be confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way, and that they will be supported to do that. That is why we signed up to the Nursing Times' Speak Out Safely Campaign when that was launched.

We promise that where any member of staff identifies a patient safety concern, we will support them, make sure they do not have a bad experience as a result of raising it, fully investigate and if appropriate, act on their concerns and give them feedback. We want raising concerns and issues where things can be improved to be a normal part of all our jobs, as part of continuously improving patient care. It is not disloyal to colleagues to raise concerns, it is a duty to our patients. Misconduct or malpractice should never be tolerated, while mistakes or poor practice may reveal a colleague needs more training. We want the organisation as a whole to be confident enough to admit mistakes and learn from them.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Michelle Athersmith is our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Freedom to Speak Up Guardians have a key role in helping to raise the profile of raising concerns and provide confidential advice and support to staff in relation to concerns they have about patient safety and/or the way their concern has been handled.

Guardians don't get involved in investigations or complaints, but help to facilitate the raising concerns process where needed, ensuring organisational policies are followed correctly.

You can contact Michelle at: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, Occupational Health, Pensfold, Gains Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HF, Tel: 01743 283293, Mobile: 07814197687 or at shropcom.speakup@nhs.net

Other ways to raise concerns

Rolf Levesley

There are a range of people you can talk to about your concerns as well as the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. You can talk to your manager about it, or any member of the management team or your union representative. You can contact Chief Executive Jan Ditheridge. If it cannot be resolved via those means, then alternatively, you can contact the designated Non-Executive Director, Rolf Levesley (pictured), who can be contacted on 01952 433594 or by email at rolflevesley@btinternet.com

Details about our current Whistleblowing procedures are set out in the Policy section of the Staff Zone.

The national report by Sir Robert Francis that looked into staff’s current worries about reporting concerns made a number of recommendations that have been accepted by the government. As a result, there is going to be a new national policy on raising concerns, and all NHS Trust will have their local arrangements to support that. We are working on our new arrangements now, including the introduction of a new role of ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ Guardian in line with the national recommendations. We will keep everyone updated about progress.