1 minute read

Speaking Up for Safety

Almost half our staff have done the Speaking Up for Safety one hour training session. While that sounds impressive, we still have over half that should be booking in now and attending. I want to make it clear that this is a very important programme and will only work well if the Speaking Up for Safety C.O.D.E. and process is understood by everyone.

I received an email from one of our staff who is a volunteer Speaking Up for Safety trainer and she told me about a special session she had run for attendants. Many of whom struggled with speaking up as they were often treated by other staff (not all, but a majority) as, in their words, “the lowest of the low”.

She said: “Their stories saddened me – when did we stop respecting people for being people no matter what role they had? The Speaking Up programme is also about culture change, making our DHB a place where our staff look forward to coming to work thereby ensuring our patients have the best care. This won’t happen unless we all respect each other – I think we speak the words but our actions say something completely different.”

Thank you, for bringing this to my attention. I was also saddened by this as whatever people’s jobs are in this DHB they deserve to be treated with respect.

Over the coming months I will be spending time in some services and also doing a shift with different staff groups. First off will be the attendants in December.

I will use the opportunity to find out what they would like to see as a way of the DHB appreciating them and their work.

There is a lot we do in terms of celebrating their successes, and I am told they are one of the most appreciated and popular groups when we share their stories on social media etc. However, for some reason, personal staff behaviour towards attendants (and potentially other support groups) does not always align with our values.