The Francis Report 2015

One day, the core of the organization will spin in the other direction.

The Francis Report on the Freedom to Speak Up review, released on the 11th February 2015 has the healthcare community buzzing with controversy....Has it gone far enough? Will it protect our duty of candor responsibilities and keep us all safe from harm?

No health or social care worker goes to work and aims to achieve poor standards...We are all in the caring profession to do good, exceed and thrive. So why is there any blame associated when poor care is raised? Accountability is required, but improvement can only come from a learning culture, free from blame.Fear is a culture which leaves many health and social care workers scared to speak out over poor service standards. They fear name blame and shame cultures, loss of respect, career and personal integrity.And so the wall of silence descends into secrets kept underground....Firstly, it is a really positive step to recognize that there are indeed grave issues associated with speaking out safely and bullying within the NHS. This report has acknowledged those issues, and generated insightful conversations if nothing else. But what else will it aim to change?

Well... A public inquiry into the damage that has already been done will not be initiated.

“I don’t personally see what a public inquiry could bring apart from prolonging the process over quite a long period of time. It’s pretty expensive and at the the end of the day I believe a public inquiry would find it really difficult to come to judgments on many of these cases.” - Francis

Perhaps this is the start of a no blame culture? We move on, nobody is blamed for the wrongs of the past and we all move forward from this point. Many will be appalled that those who have supported this poor organizational culture will not be held to account. Can we move forward from this point?

Perhaps “We have to lay these issues to rest and the best way of doing that is to change the culture.” - Francis

Over 600 people shared their experiences with Sir Robert Francis, the “vast majority” of which were negative. So it is clear that rather than blaming any one person, it is the poor cultures that are to blame. There for the challenge is to begin to make changes from the edge. These changes from the edge will ripple inwards, and change the core of the organization. Currently this core is spinning too fast to reverse, and change will happen gradually. But the momentum for change is great, and desired by everyone in the health and social care services.

Our students make changes to the front line every day, changing cultures and lighting the way in leadership. We are very proud of their achievements and really do see them make a difference from the edge. Their skills and confidence develop throughout our courses so that they may pass on positive practise to their own teams and beyond. Our students start the ripple of change from the edge. This momentum keeps building.

One day, the core of the organization will spin in the other direction.

Posted on March 1, 2015 .