Leadership message from Dr Tom Davis

Dr Tom Davis

As an NHS organisation, we have a responsibility to be safe in every aspect of what we do. I was appointed as the EEAST Medical Director in June 2018 after two years as Deputy Medical Director. As part of my role on the Executive Board I am the Named Doctor for Safeguarding and I have recently taken on the executive responsibility for Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU), which is a national initiative that helps employees to raise any concerns that they may have in confidence.

For example, sometimes people become concerned about another worker’s health or safety, the possible committing of a criminal offence, non-compliance with the law or the possible covering up of a malpractice or wrongdoing.

I am responsible for building on the great work that has been carried out so far to ensure that everyone in the Trust feels that they can raise freely and safely, either by name or anonymously, any concerns they may have.

The Trust has a comprehensive process to be able to informally and formally raise an issue, and how to escalate it if necessary.

Our approach to FTSU was included in the recent CQC inspection. The regulators gave assurance to the process we have in place but it’s clearly important for us to build on this in the context of our Well-Led rating. The Board’s priorities now include looking to develop a more permanent FTSU structure within the organisation aligned to best practice, ensuring that all staff – across every part of the Trust - are included and promoting other avenues for raising concerns in addition to FTSU.

We have two genuinely independent Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, Simon Chase and Anna Price, who help to deal with concerns, however insignificant they may first appear. Anna and Simon offer confidential advice, support and signposting to other areas of the Trust to ensure that concerns are heard. They will be out and about in September at FTSU/Safeguarding clinics. Find out more about their role as Guardians here. 

Anna and Simon are doing a great job and I think we’ve made some real progress. Clearly, it’s not easy to promote the success of our Guardians’ activity but they have supported over 60 people to raise concerns over the last two years. I believe this shows that the Trust is working hard to make our organisation a more open and transparent place to work, where all colleagues are actively encouraged and enabled to speak up safely.

For my part, I feel encouraged and privileged to be part of this process, which is fully supported by our chair and CEO.

I would encourage everyone to use all the support mechanisms available and to promote local channels for raising concerns. Be assured that every concern raised, however sensitive, will continue to be dealt with in a diligent, caring and professional manner.

To raise a concern through Freedom to Speak Up, contact Anna or Simon on the confidential email address: Eoeasnt.f2su@nhs.net or call them at 07834 249870 (Simon) or 07795 626946 (Anna).

Published 8th August 2019

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