Responding to an anonymous case

At the Salford Care Organisation, part of the Northern Care Alliance, a worker sent an anonymous email to the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian about the behaviour of an individual during recruitment. They believed the individual had not followed due process related to the recruitment of internal candidates.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Karen Hawley escalated the matter to the Associate Director of WorkforceAs a result, the director appointed an independent manager to review the interview process as well as the issues which had been raised.

An in-depth review was conducted, which included obtaining the scoring charts from the interviews as well as meeting with the recruiters. From the information available, it transpired the interview process was fair and in accordance with the recruitment and selection guidance. However, the actions and behaviour of one of the interview panel members before the interview had raised some concerns.

In response to this finding, the individual concerned was asked to actively reflect on their actions and behaviours and consider how they could be misconstrued by other workers. They also revisited training around recruitment and selection, and how to deal with difficult situations.

Speaking up resulted in the interviewer reflecting on the situation and being given the opportunity to make improvements. It also gave the organisation the opportunity to look into the matter and gain assurance that due process had been followed.

As the matter was raised anonymously, Karen was unable to be provide direct feedback to the worker who had spoken up. However, a message was placed in the trust’s newsletter to thank the worker for speaking up and to assured everyone that issues raised anonymously are always listened to and escalated appropriately.

Karen Hawley said, “It was fantastic to see how this issue was taken forward and dealt with by senior leaders so thoroughly and appropriately. It is important that workers are thanked for speaking up and know that matters raised anonymously are listened to and acted upon.”

This case study was part of our 100 Voices publication which accompanied the 2019 Annual Report.

Case studies are vital to illustrate the good work of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. We encourage all organisations to share the learning from their speaking up stories.

If you have a Freedom to Speak Up story to share, please send an email to [email protected]