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Raising concerns about care - Speak out safely

Speak out safely
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust supports the Freedom to Speak Up initiative to support any staff who raise any concerns.

The Trust has a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian in place to reinforce the message that staff can safely raise any concerns they may have about patient care and safety. 

We are fully committed to reassuring our staff that their concerns will be addressed in a clear and open and that’s why we work closely with Alison Bell our Guardian, to ensure all University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust staff can raise any concerns they may have about patient safety without fear of reprisals.

Steps to take:

In the first instance staff, patients or relatives should raise any concerns or complaints with staff in the relevant area. Very often they can be dealt with straight away and staff will do all they can to resolve the concerns raised.

Patients, carers and relatives

If patients or relatives prefer not to speak directly to someone involved in the care provided, they can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 783 7691, via email: dhft.contactpals@nhs.net or by completing our online contact form which is available on the Trust's intranet system.

A member of the PALS team will listen and discuss the most appropriate way to take concerns forward.  This may be through informal resolution or by recording and investigating a formal complaint. 

View a copy of our complaints policy here.

Staff

If staff prefer not to speak directly to someone involved in their immediate area they may speak to the next line of management above their direct manager or alternatively the Freedom to Speak up Guardian, the Non-Executive Director responsible for speaking up or use the online ‘I want good care’ form. Further details of these options can be found on the staff intranet.

The Trust also has a ‘Freedom to Speak up Policy’ which outlines steps staff are encouraged to take to raise any concerns they may have about patient care.

Freedom to Speak Up

Our support for Freedom to Speak Up reinforces our commitment to making sure all our staff and patients feel able to speak up if they have any concerns about standards of care. 

“We want to ensure that every patient receives the best possible care” says Cathy Winfield, the Trust’s  Chief Nurse. “We encourage everyone to raise any concerns they may have and we have a policy in place which supports our staff to speak out in such circumstances. We want everyone to feel able to highlight wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and we want them to be confident that their concerns will be addressed.”

One of the major findings of the Francis inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was that staff who raised concerns about patient care were not taken seriously. Following this Francis carried out  an independent review in 2015 into speaking up in the NHS – the Freedom to Speak Up review.

As well as the appointment of local Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in every trust and a National Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, this review encourages 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 when they do so.

If you would like further details on Speaking up please contact our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian on dhft.speakup@nhs.net

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