Project aimed at improving patient safety reaches national finals

Posted Thursday, August 11, 2022 1:02 PM

Sherwood Forest Hospitals is proud to reveal the trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious award for encouraging staff to speak up to improve services for patients.

The ‘Growing Our Freedom to Speak Up Culture at #TeamSFH’ project is one of eight finalists in the Freedom to Speak Up category at this year’s HSJ Awards.

The submission centres around the trust’s successful project to rejuvenate, further embed and grow Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU), which is about staff speaking up about anything that gets in the way of doing a great job. It helps ensure colleagues understand that speaking up is an important part of improvement, learning, providing outstanding care, and creating a good working environment. 

The trust has a full-time FTSU Guardian, Kerry Bosworth, and 20 trained champions across the organisation – including a medical champion for the first time - and is doing more work than ever to encourage a culture that is open to conversations. This helps ensure colleagues have the confidence needed to speak up at an early stage and know they will be supported when they do speak up.

The trust’s continuing focus on FTSU and improving its culture has had a positive impact on patient care and staff feedback, helping the trust to achieve an “outstanding” care rating from the CQC.   

In 2021/22 there were 149 issues raised through FTSU, up from 66 during the previous 12 months, indicating colleagues feel enabled to speak up. The number of anonymous concerns has fallen, which suggests people are feeling more comfortable about sharing concerns openly.

The trust’s NHS Staff Survey 2021 results reflect a positive culture, 78.5% of colleagues said they would feel secure in raising/reporting concerns – up for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, colleagues rank SFH as the third most compassionate and caring acute trust in the country, with a score of 7.6 out of 10. 

Kerry Bosworth, FTSU Guardian, said: “We are so proud for making the finals of the HSJ Awards. Our FTSU Champions are the heart of #TeamSFH – acting as listening friends across our three hospitals. Well done and thank you to everyone involved as it really is a team effort. Most of all, thank you to all those who have spoken up and trusted us to help. We can only move forward and continue to improve if people share their concerns.”

A total of 1,067 entries were received for the HSJ Awards 2022, with 219 projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist (from across 162 organisations).

Now in its 42nd year, the HSJ Awards continue to provide an opportunity to shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements that individuals and teams across the sector deliver on a daily basis.

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, adds; “On behalf of all my colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Sherwood Forest Hospitals on being shortlisted as a finalist in the category of Freedom to Speak Up Award. All of the applications represent the ‘very best of the NHS’ and often leave our esteemed panel of judges with an impossible choice!

“Year on year the number of entrants continue to rise which I find so encouraging and is testament to the effect that HSJ Awards can have on improved staff culture and morale.

“We’re all very much looking forward to welcoming our finalists to the awards ceremony in November, celebrating their impressive achievements and jointly acknowledging our values of sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes and continuously driving for better service. But we never forget that the award ceremony is not just a celebration within a night, but a platform to recognise the hard work of all our NHS staff, all year round.”

The full list of nominees for the 2022 HSJ awards can be found at alongside details of the Awards partners;

The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Battersea Evolution Centre, London, on 17 November.

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