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Trust backs Speak Out Safely campaign

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is backing a new campaign which encourages staff to speak out if they have concerns about patient care.
The Trust has signed up to the 'Speak Out Safely' campaign, run by the Nursing Times, which aims to encourage staff to raise the alarm when they see poor practice, and to protect them when they do so.

Michael Scott, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: "We actively encourage our staff, through our Public Interest Disclosure Policy, to come forward if they have concerns so we are delighted to be able to sign up to and give our full support to the Speak Out Safely campaign.

"We are committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest ethical standards for our service users, carers and all our stakeholders. One of the best ways of doing this is by encouraging people to come forward to tell us about their concerns and by giving them our full support when they do so."

Jane Sayer, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety, said: "We must have a culture in the NHS where service users and quality of care comes first.

"Our staff on the front line or behind the scenes can see when things are not going right or can be improved. We say they can – and must - speak out. This way we can all drive up standards of care for everyone."

The Speak Out Safely (SOS) campaign aims to encourage NHS organisations and independent healthcare providers to develop cultures that are honest and transparent, to actively encourage staff to raise the alarm when they see poor practice, and to protect them.

The campaign calls for the Government to introduce a 'statutory duty of candour' compelling health professionals and managers to be open about care failings. Speak Out Safely also calls for a wholesale review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act to ensure that people who take concerns outside their organisation are fully protected.

Trusts which sign up to the campaign make a public commitment to supporting staff who raise concerns.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust pledge (abridged version):
"Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust supports the Nursing Times Speak Out Safely campaign. This means we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns about wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way.
"We promise that where staff identify a genuine patient safety concern, we will support them, fully investigate and, if appropriate, act on their concern. We will also give them feedback about how we have responded to the issue they have raised, as soon as possible.
"Whether you are a permanent employee, an agency or temporary staff member, or a volunteer, please speak up when you feel something is wrong. We want you to be able to Speak Out Safely."

Please click here for the full pledge on the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust website, and click here for the Trust’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy.

For more information on the Speak Out Safely campaign, please click here.​