Being Open

At the heart of the learning from the Francis inquiry is that openness is the key. We’ve heard about a culture at Stafford Hospital that tolerated poor standards and a lack of openness, and how poor leadership and staffing policies contributed to poor nursing care.

 But most people working at Mid Staffordshire NHSFT then and now were people with a commitment to their patients. So we must never assume that we are immune from the things that went wrong there.

Staff working in all health and care bodies from the boardroom to the living room need to be part of a transparent and open culture that:

  • Puts patient safety and wellbeing first.
  • Gives all staff the heart and confidence to express concerns if they believe this commitment is compromised.

We all come to work to do our best, we all know what good looks like, and we want to play our part in getting things right – which includes raising concerns.

What all staff should do to ensure we deliver great care

Know and understand the values that underpin all we do. Think of the SCT values and the values expressed in the NHS Constitution.

Be clear in your mind and in your teams what good care looks like.

Commit to ensuring that the care you deliver is the care you would want to be given to you or a loved one.

Raise a concern if you think this standard is compromised.

What staff should do if they have concerns

Try to address the problem there and then: fix things if you can.

Raise your concerns… 

  • With colleagues and in your team.
  • With your manager.
  • With their manager, if you don’t have confidence in their response.
  • With your staffside leads or professional representative.
  • With our medical director and/or our chief nurse.
  • With our non-executive director Maggie Ioannou.

Ultimately staff can and should use our whistleblowing policy, though we want you to see this as a last resort rather than the first step, as part of our commitment to an open and supportive culture.

Speak Out Safely

SCT 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.

See more details on our Speak Out Safely pledge. Sign the SoS petition.