Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustSpeakInConfidence was recently featured in the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff magazine ‘Outline’ when the system has been introduced as part of a wider initiative to develop their Raising Concerns Policy.

The following is reproduced from the magazine and with kind permission of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

As part of our commitment to promoting an open and transparent culture, we have been working alongside our staff-side colleagues to develop a new Raising Concerns Policy.

We spoke to Joint Staff Side Chair Dawn Cooper about how they got involved in this process and why they would like to reassure colleagues about it:

“Staff side’s involvement in the changes to our processes for raising concerns came out of the work following the Francis Report regarding the inquiry into the scandal of Mid Staffordshire Trust.

“I would be confident about using the system”

Dawn Cooper, Joint Staff Side Chair, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust“Members of management and Staff-side came together to rewrite our Whistleblowing Policy to make it less daunting for staff to raise concerns and acknowledge that some behaviours needed to be challenged but did not meet the level of whistleblowing.

“In addition to this, there was a belief that as a Trust we wanted to have a more open and transparent culture where staff would feel comfortable and confident in identifying poor practice or behaviour and able to report that to more senior staff without worrying about getting into trouble or suffering detriment.

“Raising concerns is important on three levels; patient safety is a priority but also staff safety as well as it being a requirement under law. Essentially it makes the workplace a better place for everybody.

“There are lots of ways to raise concerns and it doesn’t have to be in person; it can be done anonymously. You can raise it on Datix and when you are asked for your name in the first two fields you can select anonymous, but the downside is you can’t get feedback afterwards as there is no way to facilitate that on this system. Alternatively, you can approach union reps to raise it or you can go to the new SpeakInConfidence system.

“I have absolute confidence in this system when it comes to anonymity. I have spoken to the guy who runs it. You don’t have to use your work email; you can use your home email if you want and this is anonymised by this external company and directed to specific individuals depending on what the concern is about.

“I am absolutely confident it is anonymous providing the person doesn’t write anything that will identify themselves or others in what they write. If I wasn’t in the position I am in where I tend to raise any concerns I have direct, I would be confident about using the system.”

There are Raising Concerns Posters and card dispensers at key staff areas around the Trust. You can also go to the Raising Concerns section of our staff intranet or visit the SpeakInConfidence website.

You can download the original here.

Protect: Anonymous Speak Up: A safe and secure way for your people to anonymously raise concerns via phone, tablet, or PC, ensuring you are aware of any workplace issues and can respond quickly and accordingly

Consolidated Case Management: A secure online place to record, track, update, and report on all speaking up matters, whether raised through WorkInConfidence or directly.

Surveys: Easily set up, run and interpret surveys on engagement, respect, wellness or other topics to ensure you always understand your people, their needs and motivations.

Discussion Boards: Demonstrate your commitment to collaboration with discussion boards to accelerate employee engagement and gain greater insights – anonymous if required.