A message from Wendy Thomas this FTSU month


Hello, my name is Wendy Thomas. I’m one of the Non-executive Directors of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

I’ve been a registered nurse since 1985 and, during my career, there have been occasions where it has been necessary for me to speak up and do the right thing.

Where patient care is concerned that’s never really been an issue for me because I’ve always had my code of conduct and my professional registration that I still hold. It means that I have to do the right thing for my patients, therefore speaking up in those instances has never, ever been an issue for me. I’ve always done it openly, honestly and I’ve been very clear about why I’m raising concerns.

I think it becomes a little more difficult when you have to have those discussions when you see colleagues behaving in a way that is unacceptable to you or to others and I’ve always found that when I’ve done that, personally it’s really quite difficult to do. But I’ve always found that people have said to me ‘do you know what, I wish we’d been able to say what you said’ because again it was the right thing to do.

What I’d say to you now is that when I started my career in 1985, there just weren’t the processes. There wasn’t the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian, there wasn’t the ability to do that and all of that has changed recently in the NHS. Certainly, in the East of England Ambulance Service we want to embrace a culture of honesty, openness and transparency because that’s the only way to be as a professional organisation.

We need to make sure that staff feel empowered to speak up, in a safe, confidential environment and to promote action, learning and change. It really is the only way forward and we are 100 per cent committed to that.

Thank you for listening.


Published 13th October 2020

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