Today we publish a report which analyses the themes and learning for the whole health sector from our review of the speaking up culture at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
We received information indicating that a speaking up case may not have been handled following good practice. The information received also suggested black and minority ethnic workers had comparatively worse experiences when speaking up.
Based on focus groups and interviews with Trust workers, and analysis of internal processes and data, the report reviews information about the trust’s speaking up culture and arrangements and the trust’s support for its workers to speak up.
The review found that work was underway to improve the organisation’s speaking up culture, but there were long-standing issues with the trust’s speaking up culture. There was a perception among some workers that speaking up was futile. Black and minority ethnic workers – and other groups – also reported facing barriers to speaking up.
The review also found that some workers who had spoken up to national bodies had variable experiences.
The report makes recommendations for actions which national bodies and the healthcare system as whole can take to support organisations, including bringing national guidance into line with good practice and make that guidance universally applicable.
Following the CQC’s lead, the National Guardian’s Office is developing the Speaking Up Partnership Group to improve the consistency and quality of responses given to workers who speak up to national organisations.
Reviews seek to identify learning, recognise innovation and support improvement, and, ultimately, improve the experience of workers, patients, and the public.
We encourage all organisations to use these recommendations to carry out their own gap analysis to ensure they have considered the issues outlined in relation to their own speaking up arrangements.