Employees at Newham University Hospital were concerned about often finding themselves dealing with confrontational situations with either patients and their relatives, or colleagues.
The Communications team at the hospital devised a number of solutions to help address these concerns. One of these was a campaign to promote a respectful atmosphere for all. Mary Walsh, the lead guardian, fed back on the main themes being referred to the Guardian Service so that the campaign addressed solutions as well as acknowledging the problems. The Guardian Service promoted this campaign within the hospital and discussed how contacting a Freedom to Speak Up
Guardian could help create a culture where all staff can do their best work without fear of retribution.
The Guardian Service aims to encourage staff to speak up to their line manager in the first instance and if the member of staff has tried and not been heard or is fearful of doing so then they should speak to us. We are one of a number of tools available to the staff at Bart’s Health Trust, to which Newham University Hospital belongs. As part of delivering the Respect Campaign, we promoted the Bart’s values as the core standards of behaviour expected of all staff and discussed different methods of using them to bring about change.
The hospital is particularly keen to encourage respectful dialogue to resolve difficulties and to give staff confidence to do so by having the safe back-up of the Guardian Service. Staff can talk to the FTSU Guardian at any time of their choosing, 24/7. Stalls in the staff canteen and outside the Health Junction were used to distribute flyers with the FTSU Guardian contact details, and stress balls to offer a fun alternative and to reiterate the unacceptability of bad behaviour between colleagues and/or from patients.