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Hospital staff feel more confident and supported to speak up about concerns

Thursday 9 July 2020

Melanie Hurdman is the Trust's Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Staff at the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals are feeling more confident and supported to speak up about improving the quality and safety of patient care according to a national report published today (Thursday, July 9, 2020).

The Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Index uses questions from the annual NHS Staff Survey to determine whether staff feel knowledgeable, secure and encouraged to speak up with suggestions for improvements, and whether they are confident they would be treated fairly if they raised concerns about an error, near miss or incident. 

According to the latest FTSU Index, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is in the top three of most improved trusts in the country on their FTSU Index score in 2019 compared to the previous year – rising 4.6 per cent to 78.5 per cent. The Trust also scores above average when compared to other Acute Trusts across the country (77.9 per cent average), with a score of 70 per cent or more perceived as a healthy culture.

Melanie Hurdman, Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at the Trust, who is also Matron for Maternity Inpatients and Intrapartum Care, said: “Freedom To Speak Up is vital in healthcare – it can be a matter of life or death, When workers feel psychologically safe, they will speak up to avoid harm, bring great ideas, and be able to express their concerns. A good speaking up culture makes for a safer workplace for staff, patients and service users, so I am really pleased that the work we have been doing in this area is recognised in this report.

Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “This result is testament to the hard work of our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Melanie and her predecessor, the late Bryan McGinity, who have ensured that speaking up arrangements and culture have remained at the forefront of safety and quality agenda. It is also recognition for those who support them – including our 37 FTSU champions across the Trust, who also provide a confidential, listening ear and advice for anyone who wishes to raise a concern that may impact upon patient care.

“Of course, better never stops and we will continue to work on identifying how we can further support colleagues to speak up and to effect positive culture change in line with our 4ward behaviours – for example, working with our new BAME network - and make speaking up business as usual. However, this report shows that we are moving in the right direction and towards our purpose of putting patents first.”

To read the full report visit: