I had been with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust for just over a month and I was still getting to grips with all the different aspects of my role in a busy service for older people. I found myself checking patient summaries to make sure that the patients’ allergies had been checked before medication was requested for prescription.

The problem was that allergies were not being recorded on the front page of the patient’s electronic record, even when there is a clear icon to indicate if that person has allergies.

There was no standardised process for where allergies should be recorded and being new to the Trust and system meant it was extra difficult for me to check.

There had been a couple of close calls. I’d asked my line manager if they should complete a DATIX as it had the potential to become a serious incident. My line manager said it was a confusing issue that had been going on for some time. Because so many people did it, it felt hard to challenge people on their habits.

I contacted Annie, the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. She thanked me for bringing the issue to her attention. I was happy for Annie to share the concerns I’d raised with relevant colleagues. The Clinical Director contacted me straight away. He was very kind in explaining the steps he was taking to standardise the allergy recording process and I appreciated how professional and understanding he was.

This case study was featured in our 2020 Annual Report.