For Safety’s Sake – New Program Encourages All Staff to Speak Up for Safety

Julie Lawrence. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS


By Julie Lawrence | Improvement and Innovation Advisor

Do you ever see things that are not quite right, but you’re not sure what to do?

Or feel like you want to speak to colleagues but are not able to because they are more senior than you, or you just don’t think it will make a difference?

If you see something happening in your workplace that may cause harm or is a risk, we want you to say something.

At BRHS, all staff have a responsibility to speak up if they are concerned about a patient safety issue.

That’s the basic idea behind our new program called Speaking Up For Safety.

It sounds simple, but we know that in real life situations it can be more complicated than that.

Sometimes you assume that a doctor or more senior staff person can see everything and is on top of it. Or you might feel like it isn’t your place to raise a concern.

Speaking Up For Safety will provide an environment where staff can hear what someone else is saying for safety sake and take immediate action for safer patient care.

At BRHS, all staff have a responsibility to speak up if they are concerned about a patient safety issue. But sometimes this may be difficult.

Speaking Up For Safety encourages staff to respectfully, and in a supportive manner, communicate with colleagues who could be potentially doing something they feel is in question.

All staff will be empowered to improve patient safety by recognising that all humans make errors and that systems can fail.

If we are all watching each other and speaking up – a super safe environment is the result.

In the coming weeks all staff, including doctors, will receive assertiveness training and information. Speaking Up For Safety will apply to everyone in the hospital, including senior staff, so on one is beyond enquiry.

We already provide high quality care for patients, but we want to improve even more by providing helpful feedback to staff in a constructive and positive way.

To learn more, visit the Speaking Up For Safety page on the BRHS Intranet under Safety and Wellbeing. Or reach out to me at ext. 66601.