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HCSA Welcomes Sir Robert Francis’s review Freedom to Speak Out

“Hospital consultants and specialists, like all other healthcare workers, are primarily committed to the welfare and safety of the patients they treat; however, many fear that their jobs and careers will be affected by speaking out and whistle blowing.”

Above was the opening paragraph of the HCSA motion to the 2013 TUC Annual conference. We called in that motion for independent investigations and a clear role for the then new Inspector of Hospitals. 2 years forward and the findings of Sir Robert Francis’s review show whistle blowers are still the target of bullying and victimisation.

We know this is the case as we spend many hours representing and defending our members who speak out and find themselves the brunt of disciplinary procedures, isolation and often unsupported by their colleagues. Hospital consultants should never fear speaking up and let’s hope this review is acted upon and implemented. There have been too many NHS staff who have been put through great stress by doing what is best for their patients and enough is enough.

The report sets out 20 principles which should be adopted including:

  • A culture of safety
  • A culture of raising concerns
  • A culture that  is free from bullying
  • Where there is visible leadership
  • A culture that  values staff
  • Transparency
  • Prompt blame free investigation
  • Accountability
  • External review

HCSA General Secretary Eddie Saville said “the HCSA has been highlighting the problems of whistle blowers being targeted for a number of years. This review should go a long way to root out those who manage by a culture of fear. Whistle blowers should be championed not victimised. Not only will NHS staff benefit from this review but so too will patients.”

You can read the full review and the response from Jeremy Hunt here.

Francis Review https://freedomtospeakup.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/F2SU_web.pdf

Jeremy Hunt Response https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/francis-report-update-and-response

If you have spoken out and have not been listened to get in touch with us at the HCSA.