Yesterday 20th September 2023, the Welsh Government and NHS Wales have published the Speaking up Safely Framework for NHS Wales. This framework will enhance existing procedures to ensure a consistent approach across Wales and provide assurances to staff that concerns will be taken seriously, heard fairly and will not result in personal repercussions.
Developed in social partnership with trade unions and NHS Wales employers, it sets out the responsibilities of all NHS Wales organisations, their executive teams, and boards, along with those of managers and individual members of staff to create a culture in which ‘Speaking Up’, is supported within a safe environment and everyone knows how to raise a concern and knows the process which will follow.
Having effective arrangements in place to allow staff to raise concerns better protects patients and staff and improves people’s experiences of healthcare. The aim of the new framework is to ensure all individuals have a voice, are listened to, and receive a timely and appropriate response.
Following recent events, the Welsh Government has written to all Welsh Health Boards to ask them to set out the mechanisms they have in place to encourage staff to speak up confidently about anything that gets in the way of delivering safe, high quality care.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said:
Recent events have been a stark reminder of how vital it is that everyone working in the NHS feel safe and confident to speak up about anything that gets in the way of delivering safe, high-quality care.
Speaking up and bringing issues and concerns into the open is a brave and vulnerable thing to do and NHS Managers must be willing to listen, deal with concerns appropriately and be open to constructive challenge.
I am committed to creating a culture where speaking up is welcomed and seen as an opportunity to listen, learn and improve. The introduction of this framework will assist in driving this change and ensure that workplaces are safe, respectful and inclusive for all employees.