Action, not words, is needed but what?
Recently I was able to attend the Turn up the Volume 2 conference in London, called and arranged by Steve Turner. See https://www.nonexecutivedirectors.com/steve-turner-ned-9574.html for details of Steve’s career and extensive experience. In particular, in 2014 he set up and continues to manage Care Right Now (CIC)www.carerightnow.co.uk a Social Enterprise Company delivering healthcare service development, based on education and learning. And yes, he was a whistleblower with the usual destructive outcomes. Grim but after recovery from the harm, Steve is very much back in action. Inspirational.
Steve had lined up an eminent group of people to describe what they are doing to try and change the culture in the NHS so that it is safe for whistleblowers to speak. Better still of course would be no further need for whistleblowing, with listening and responding trust boards, as some are now starting to do. We can dream that one day it will be all trusts. (See the website Care Right Now (CIC) for details of the speakers at Turn Up the Volume 2.
There were frequent opportunities for the audience to contribute their thoughts. Many of the audience were whistle blowers so well placed to speak.
When the www.suspension-nhs.org website was set up in June 2003 it attracted a small group of people who had fallen foul of their organisations, had experienced the horror of suspension, the worst thing that had ever happened to them, one of them concluded. These people joined me in helping people in similar situations and we all began to campaign. Some have continued but I stopped to care for my husband. He was set free from Parkinson’s disease last year and I am free to return to the campaigning. I am also in the process of updating the www.suspension-nhs.org website.
I went to the conference to get some ideas of what is happening nationally and what CAUSE (Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions and Exclusions UK) can do to try and stop the injustice and inhumanity of unfair suspensions and all it entails.
En route I read the document published in 2014 by the whistleblowing helpline called ‘Raising concerns at work’. (See www.wbhelpline.org.uk to read or download a copy.) The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, wrote in the Foreword,
‘Staff should be supported and protected when they raise concerns, as well as praised for their courage and thanked by management as a key part of the effort to build a safe, effective and compassionate culture that patients, service users, the public and the overwhelming majority of staff across health and social services expect.’
A loud amen to that but it is not happening everywhere and the usual horror story follows. More action is desperately needed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for what can be done please.
Here is to justice and truth and patient focused honest care.