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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Cumbria health trust signs up to national patient safety campaign

A CUMBRIA health trust has signed up to a national campaign to help improve patient safety.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has signed up to the campaign which aims to encourage staff to raise any concerns about patient care.

The Trust officially announced its commitment to the Nursing Times Speak Out Safely (SOS) campaign at the Ramsey Unit in Barrow last week, with the help of John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness and Liz Kendal, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People on a visit to the unit.

Measures to help staff raise concerns about quality and safety have helped the dementia unit significantly improve standards of patient care, highlighted in a new report by the Care Quality Commission.

Claire Molloy, chief executive, said: “We wanted to launch our commitment to Speak Out Safely at the Ramsey Unit because some of the issues identified in a CQC inspection last year came about because staff were not responded to as effectively as we would want.

“The Speak Out Safely Campaign gives staff the power to speak out if they feel care may be falling below the standard our patients deserve. We have also introduced a new early warning system for staff to spot any signs that levels of care are not up to standard. We want to support and enable our staff to take action so that the quality and safety of patient care is not affected.

“The Ramsey Unit has been inspected twice since the poor results in October with the latest report published this week finding significant improvements and better quality and safety for our patients.”

“However, it is very important that if this should change that our staff members feel able to raise concerns at the earliest opportunity so that we can continue to learn about and improve our services, bringing about even greater care for our patients.”

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “The Ramsey Unit has made improvements following inspections last winter that were critical of the quality of care it was delivering to patients.

“It is important that those who work in our public services are able to speak out when they believe things are going wrong, and the Cumbria Partnership Trust has acknowledged this by signing up to the Speak Out Safely campaign which encourages staff to raise any concerns they might have about quality and safety of patients’ care.”

Dave Waddington, Chairman of Staff Side representation said: “I welcome the Trust’s commitment to the Speak Out Safely campaign. By signing up, the Trust is sending out a clear message to all staff that it is very important to speak out if they have a concern about patient safety and that they can do this without worrying about consequences or blame.

“I would encourage all colleagues who feel they have a genuine concern about the quality of care in their workplace to speak out and to be assured that their concerns will be will be taken seriously and acted upon.”

As well as improving patient safety, the campaign sends a clear message that staff who raise an issue will receive full support to make the improvements needed.

The SOS message applies to all staff, including permanent employees, agency or temporary staff and volunteers. By signing up, CPFT hopes to build on the good practice already in place across the Trust and further develop its culture of openness and transparency

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