@Steve Turner I think you raise important issues. We know well the very visible whistleblowing cases. But the ones that reinforce the power imbalance are more seditious - the quiet underhand reminders that if you speak up you’ll be performance managed; the suggestions that people want team players, not trouble makers; the threat of not getting a deserved reference; that someone will make sure there’s a quiet word spoken; that the organisation is more important than the customers; the banter about ‘not being like us’ etc. So difficult to prove. People shouldn’t have to be brave and take huge personal risks to do the right thing. How do we lift the lid?
Increasingly HR professionals are advising not to give references other than ‘worked here, role title, dates’ and only anodyne feedback from job applications. This protects the organisation from challenge but makes it very difficult to know whether a failed application is because there are better candidates out there or there is something more sinister going on. The whistleblowers that I have spoken with and read their books clearly feel that there are blacklists. Understandably, not many people would want to raise publicly, or attributably. We’d be happy to publish comments anonymously. It’s important to explore and expose these issues, as you do @Steve Turner
Let’s use this community hub to identify examples where staff are experiencing challenge from frustrated and angry patients and families. We need to highlight this issue so that health and social care leaders, policy makers and politicians understand theses issues and respond to patient concerns and ensure that staff are protected.
Hi Steve, I suppose it’s impossible to know how such blacklisting works. Might there be patient safety focused HR people that could provide such insights (unattributably if needed)? Have you any contacts? Helen
This seems comprehensive. But what are the mechanisms for ensuring that these standards are known, adopted, adhered to? And how are patients informed and engaged?
@Steph O'Donohue @Claire Cox How can we find answers to those questions?
Carrie, this is a ghastly experience. And truly shocking to use Covid 19 as an excuse. We will be refocusing our work with Hysteroscopy Action. Have you been in touch with them? They’re amazing and so supportive.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
@Claire Cox @Steph O'Donohue
@Mary-Jo Patterson and @Jon Holt
Hi both, would love it if you can use the hub and this community to engage, support, champion and challenge for patient safety. Please let us know how we can help.
Thanks Sue for your comment and sorry to hear that you’ve had direct personal experience of these issues.
I think the saddest part of your response for me was ‘There can be no dissenting, no admission of problems or bad practice and this usually results in the removal of both the person raising concerns and the manager who acknowledged it.’ We are destined to repeat errors and harm patients unless we challenge the status quo.
Alarming also what you say about the role and approach of professional bodies. Would you like to share more? You’d be very welcome to contact me direct on this. Maybe that’s something we can explore and highlight on the hub?
Thanks again for your insight and comment firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your post. How gruesome, I'm so sorry. We know that many women similarly report this intense pain and just have no idea what they're going to experience when they agree to the procedure.
We've been working with the amazing women at Hysteroscopy Action to build on their campaigning to demand safer and pain free care with women being fully informed before they consent.
@Claire Cox and I have been a little deflected with the pandemic but we're very keen to re-active our work on this important issue. Thanks for sharing.
We must stop this happening.
Great that Royal Free have recognised the necessity of supporting staff at this very difficult time. Wondeful that your skills, energey and compassion are being released to support this. Please do keep us in touch with insights into how its all going. I'm sure there's valuable learning that others can benefit from. Best wishes, Helen
I worry that the new NHSI PS incident framework allows organisations to chose whether they investigate or not. Those with poor safety cultures could chose to avoid proper investigation. No learning and no action will inevitably lead to further harm @Joanne Hughes
There is much that is well intentioned in this framework. I think there is much that will not achieve the aims and may result in serious unintended consequences. I'm drafting a blog to kick off discussion.
James says 'If our understanding of, and our systems for, patient feedback are limited to seeing it simply as data, concerns, compliments, or even stories, then I think we are missing this bigger picture. Feedback is a relationship. It is one way that people receiving a service can express their care, in return, for those who provide it, and for others who will use it. It is an expression of the values of equality and mutuality which lie at the heart of our health service.
Our current approaches to patient feedback recognise little of this – and it is time they did.'
Absolutely. Completely agree
Brilliant as ever @MartinL I learn so much from your insights and advice.
I wonder whether the NHSI Patient Safety Incident Response Framework will reflect this wisdom? https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/future-of-patient-safety-investigation/
'it is up to the investigator/team to establish the facts including obtaining information from those involved' Absolutely. One of the challenges that we hear is whether such people/teams have the capacity to respond as you outline. Commitment and knowledge does need to be matched with sufficient resources to investigate, learn and then take action.
Any insights that you have of good practice, we'd love to hear from you - in a blog or sharing policies, SOPs, guidance etc.
I think collectively that many have forgotten that reporting is about learning and taking action to prevent errors and harm. It’s not an activity my it’s own right! It’s also part of caring for and an accountability to staff, saying that we your concerns matter and we’re going to take them seriously.
Danielle, I love your suggestions. We’re going to be collating examples of great practice to share and we’ll start with these! If you’ve more detailed information or would write a blog on what you do and the impact it has, that would be wonderful. email@example.com