While we welcome the recommendations set out in the Freedom to Speak Up Review, putting an effective speak up culture into practice can be a challenge.
To have credibility, any such a whistleblowing system and indeed the ‘guardians’ recommended in the Freedom to Speak Up Review need to be as independent as possible from mainstream management. Care must be taken to ensure that any reporting line is clearly separate from the process used for reporting personal employment grievances. Unless this is achieved there is a danger that real concerns about patient welfare will be clogged up with other employment issues and become lost in the system.
The recommended training for staff is essential but there must also be clear and highly visible communication of the reporting process so that staff and patients know where to turn. But above all what is needed is a demonstrable commitment from senior management that concerns can genuinely be raised without any fear of reprisal is essential; NHS Trusts will have to work hard to rebuild confidence in this regard.
Notes to editors:
o Leo Martin, founder and director of GoodCorporation is available for interview
o GoodCorporation is a leading business ethics consultancy and has worked with over 100 organisations since 2000 to assess and improve their ethical behaviour, including their whistleblowing systems. We have worked in a wide range of commercial and public sector organisations including the BBC, the NHS and at the Department of health
Sally McGeachie, Head of Communication & Marketing
Contact on: 020 8877 5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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