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Leap in staff scared to report safety concerns

NHS staff are significantly less comfortable raising concerns and are less confident in their organisation to address them, the service’s annual staff survey has revealed.

The 2022 results, with a response rate of 46%, showed a decline on all measures relating to raising concerns about clinical safety and speaking up more generally, with the greatest deterioration seen in the percentage of staff who would feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice.

Helen Hughes, chief executive of charity Patient Safety Learning, warned an “alarmingly high” number of staff could not say they felt safe raising concerns.

Ms Hughes continued: “If we are to effectively learn from and prevent future incidents of avoidable harm, staff need to feel safe to raise and discuss patient safety incidents.

“This year’s staff survey results are a clear indication that too often this is still not the case. This is reinforced by the experiences and testimonies of many whistleblowers and the findings of numerous inquiries into major patient safety scandals.”

She added there were a lack of “tangible measures” in place to create a safety culture where staff feel safe to speak up and called for “more resources to support improvement and evaluate their impact”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 9 March 2023


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