I’ve taken a short break with my monthly blog so it’s good to get started again. I fractured my shoulder and then unfortunately had a close unexpected family bereavement.
I’ve been using services myself over recent months in ways I wasn’t expecting and my experiences have caused me to reflect on how we can positively impact the service user experience.
May I kindly ask that you take one minute today to consider these four simple things in your practice. We’re all very busy, but these basics can really make a difference…
- The power of introducing yourself is well known and really makes a difference to your immediate sense of trust and confidence. Do you start with ‘Hello my name is’?
- Did you gain eye contact with the patient and their carer/family when speaking with them? This can make so much difference.
- Are you open and honest with your conversations to manage expectations? It’s important we say what we are going to do, but also address what won’t be possible.
- If someone is in pain, please respond with kindness.
I wanted to dedicate most of this edition to remind you of the many channels you can use to speak up if you have concerns about any element of your work or care.
We have clear escalation routes if you are ever worried about any aspects of care. However, if you feel you can’t use those routes, or don’t think your concerns are being properly addressed, please contact a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. These are members of staff who have dedicated time to provide confidential, expert support to any colleague who wants to raise concerns. This helps in building an open culture, in which leadership encourages learning and improvement, leads to safer care and improved patient experience.
People are the eyes, ears and heart of our integrated care system. Your views, improvement ideas and concerns can act as a valuable early warning system that a policy, process or decision is not playing out as anticipated or could be improved.
Permanent employees, agency staff, students, volunteers, anyone involved in health and care has a voice that counts, that is part of the NHS People Promise.
For further support contact:
- Your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at your organisation, their details can usually be found on your intranet. At the ICB you can email or MS Teams message email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Freedom to Speak Up form.
- Contact the National Guardian’s Office: email@example.com
- Visit the National Guardian’s Office website: www.nationalguardian.org.uk
Likewise, we urge patients, carers, friends, family members, visitors or local people and communities who have concerns about any aspect of care within our local system, to let us know. All feedback is hugely welcomed and helps us to improve care.
Members of the public can feedback on behalf of or as a patient:
- Contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your local NHS Trust. You can find out how to get in touch with them through their website
If you have any thoughts or ideas about how we can improve our feedback mechanisms for staff or patients, please do contact me. I’m also keen to hear from you about any topics or updates you’d like to me include in future blogs as I very much see this as a two-way channel.
Executive Director of Nursing
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System