A HOSPITAL in the North-East has joined a campaign to persuade healthcare providers to encourage staff to raise an alarm if they witness poor practice.

Nuffield Health Tees Hospital in Norton, Stockton, is part of the Nuffield Health group, the first independent hospital provider to back the initiative and join a select group of NHS Trusts from across the UK who have also signed up.

The Speak Out Safely Campaign, led by the Nursing Times, aims to promote collaboration and commitment between hospitals to empower staff to raise concerns, safe in the knowledge they will be supported and not suffer as a consequence.

It also calls on the Government to introduce a statutory duty of candour compelling health professionals and managers to be open about care failings and to protect staff who feel they must raise concerns outside of the organisation.

Nuffield Health Tees Hospital matron, Sharon Robinson said: “Any initiative which helps to raise the bar in terms of patient safety should be applauded. Nurses are at the forefront of medical care in hospitals and have a responsibility to flag up any incidents which they believe might be detrimental to the care of their patients.

“Following the Francis report into care at Mid Staffordshire Hospital it is imperative that we empower frontline staff to make decisions and raise concerns without fear of reprisal or bullying."

Nuffield Health also announced the launch of the Nuffield Way of Caring – a matron-led programme, which strengthens the role of the matron.