14 November 2018
A respected whistleblower who helped drive a culture of change within the NHS was the keynote speaker at a Trust meeting promoting the importance of speaking up.

Paediatrician Dr Kim Holt addressed Trust staff at its Freedom to Speak Up conference in Bedford on November 9.

The event was organised to support managers in how to promote a culture of speaking up and how they can help colleagues who raise concerns.

Dr Holt, who ‘blew the whistle’ in the Baby P case and later founded whistleblowers’ support network Patients First, encouraged managers to always be objective and treat everyone fairly – regardless of their role.

“An open culture doesn’t blame an individual when things go wrong but is ready to look at the system and fix the problem,” she said.

The conference was the second ‘share and learn’ event held for staff by the Trust’s Freedom To Speak Up team.

“We have made great strides together but there is more we can do, individually and collectively,” said Ade Dosunmu, the Trust's Freedom To Speak Up Guardian.

“Never be afraid to raise concerns and always listen when colleagues speak up.”

Chief Nurse Lorraine Sunduza challenged the group to take responsibility as senior managers.

“It’s not enough to be good managers, it’s important to be a great leader. As we challenge others we also challenge ourselves,” she said.

Trust Vice Chair Mary Elford said it was vital to create a culture that listens to all staff.