NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens today responded to the Francis report on whistleblowing.
In the report entitled ‘Freedom To Speak Up?’ Sir Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire, recommends:
- A “Freedom to Speak Up Guardian” to be appointed in every NHS trust to support staff, particularly junior members.
- A national independent officer to help guardians when cases are going wrong.
- A new support scheme to help NHS staff who have found themselves out of a job as a result of raising concerns.
- Processes established at all trusts to make sure concerns are heard and investigated properly
Simon Stevens responded, saying: “As a nation we can rightly be proud of the fact that NHS care is now the safest it has ever been. But as I’ve sat down and listened hard to whistleblowers over the past year, it’s blindingly obvious that the NHS has been missing a huge opportunity to learn and improve the care we offer to patients and the way we treat our staff.
“These important proposals – particularly for a new national office of the whistleblower – will provide clear new safeguards and signal a decisive change in culture in every part of the health service.”