NHS Highland urges staff to ‘Speak Up Listen Up’

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NHS Highland, the health board which covers Kintyre, has unveiled a ‘Speak Up Listen Up’ campaign as a new whistleblowing process for raising concerns about patient or colleague safety is launched across Scotland.

The National Whistleblowing Standards (NWS) and the full Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) service, covering the whole of NHS Scotland, went live last Thursday, April 1.

This is designed to be the final stage of a new process for anyone raising concerns about patient safety or other harm across the Scottish NHS.

The NWS are designed to be as comprehensive as possible and cover anyone involved in an NHS service, including current and former employees, volunteers, students and partners.

The changes focus on helping people to raise concerns as early as possible, as well as offering support and protection.

Under the NWS, NHS Highland delivers the first two parts of the process, and the INWO acts as the final, independent review stage.

To encourage everyone to feel confident about raising concerns, the clear message from NHS Highland is to: ‘Speak Up Listen Up’.

This is part of its vow to hear what people have to say, learn from it and offer support. Employees are encouraged to speak to their manager, trade union representative, or another trusted colleague, or report concerns through existing procedures or the Guardian Service.

Whistleblowing means raising a concern in the public interest. Within NHS Scotland, this covers a range of areas, including: patient-safety or care issues; poor practice; unsafe working conditions; fraud; changing or falsifying information about performance; breaking any legal obligation; and abusing authority.

Albert Donald, NHS Highland’s whistleblowing champion, an independent and impartial role, said: ‘Everyone benefits if concerns can be raised early and dealt with promptly and professionally.

‘While the NWS are a formal process, we want everyone to feel confident about raising concerns before they get to that stage. And we want to encourage managers to listen and learn from concerns. That’s why our message is “Speak Up Listen Up”.’

If anyone is involved in delivering an NHS service and is worried about something that could cause harm, they can email contact@theguardianservice.co.uk or call 0333 733 8448 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The Guardian Service remains available 24/7 to support and advise NHS Highland employees on a range of issues, including work grievances, via 0333 577 5955 or by email at contact@theguardianservice.co.uk 

For more on the NWS, visit spso.org.uk