New whistleblowing framework launched for NHS Wales staff following Letby case
The Welsh Government has released a new whistleblowing framework to promote a safe environment where NHS staff can express concerns without fear of retribution.
The move follows the chilling case of nurse Lucy Letby, who was jailed for life last month for the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The new framework, “Speaking up Safely,” has been developed in collaboration with trade unions and NHS Wales employers.
It outlines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the healthcare sector, from executives and board members to managers and individual staff.
The primary aim is to establish a consistent approach across Wales and provide reassurance to staff that their concerns will be handled seriously and fairly.
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.
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 feels 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 act. 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.”
BMA Cymru Wales has welcomed the move.
Dr Iona Collins, BMA Chair of the Welsh Council, “when effective reporting is not enabled, the healthcare service becomes less safe.”
The BMA has long advocated for a shift in healthcare culture from blame and suspicion to one of openness and accountability.
Dr Collins also revealed that BMA Cymru Wales had recommended including a senior independent representative on the executive board to hold members accountable.
Spotted something? Got a story? Email [email protected]