Two ‘whistleblowing’ cases at ambulance service

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Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 1:01pm

By Andrew Morris - Local Democracy Reporter

Just two concerns have been raised by members of staff at the ambulance trust which covers Shropshire this year.

West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust Board heard that just two issues had been raised under the Freedom To Speak Up framework.

The framework is in place to give whistleblowers the chance to raise concerns with the trust.

From the two concerns, both were dealt with and no further information has been released.

Barbara Kozlowska, head of organisational development and FTSU guardian at the trust, said: “The trust is committed to ensuring that staff have the confidence to raise concerns and to know that they will be taken seriously and investigated.

“At work, it is reasonable that staff may have concerns from time to time, which normally can be resolved easily and informally.

“However, when staff have serious concerns about unlawful conduct, financial/professional malpractice, or risk to patients/others it can be daunting to speak up about this.

“Therefore, the Freedom to Speak Up (Whistleblowing) policy aims to give staff the assurance that concerns will be listened to and to outline a fair and easy process for staff to raise concerns at work.

“In order to deliver high quality patient care and protect the interests of patients, staff and the organisation, the trust aims to encourage a culture of openness and transparency, in which members of staff feel comfortable about raising legitimate concerns.

“Two concerns have been raised this year. The first was raised in quarter one through an advocate and was regarding a system/process issue.

“The second was raised in quarter two through an advocate regarding patient quality and bullying and harassment. Both are now closed.”

Ms Kozlowska said she hopes the trust increases the level of promotion of the scheme.

She also said showing videos on internal computer systems and promotions of guardians would help.

Meanwhile, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission said the guardian system is helping people raise concerns.

The inspection report into the service, said: “The trust had appointed a FTSU guardian who had been in post since June 2017. 

“They were a member of the West Midlands Guardian Network and the National Ambulance Network. 

“There were 22 FTSU advocates within the trust. Each advocate had been comprehensively recruited and trained. 

“Most recently, all of which had attended a development day in which involved working through case studies and receiving national and regional updates on FTSU.”

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