Community healthcare trust encourages staff to speak up if they see problems

Freedom to speak up champions at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

Freedom to speak up champions at NCHC. Photo: NCHC - Credit: NCHC

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC) has recruited champions to help support an innovative national programme encouraging staff to raise concerns.

The Freedom to Speak Up campaign encourages NHS workers to speak up about concerns so that risks can be addressed and lessons learned to continually improve patient care and safety.

All members of the NCHC board have signed up to be champions of the scheme, as well as members of staff.

Anna Morgan, director of nursing and quality, who also acts as one of two trust guardians and champion for the campaign, said: 'I have personal experience as a nurse of speaking out and how difficult it can be. I understand how important it is to have an open culture where it is safe to talk about the things that worry us or the things that go wrong.

'If we want our patients to receive excellent care then our staff must also be cared for and feel able to exercise their right to be heard and to be supported to deal with the difficult things'.

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Maria Richardson, safeguarding lead, has also signed up to be a champion. She said: 'As soon as I understood the remit of champion I asked the deputy named nurses in the safeguarding team to become champions.

'This role complements our role in safeguarding with support offered to staff on a daily basis. As champions we are available for staff and can make sure they feel safe to open up to discuss their concerns'.

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'Staff, whether they are a colleague or a manager, need to feel that they can speak up safely. The campaign is an opportunity for people to do this so we can keep staff and patients safe, and continue to deliver the highest quality care'.

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