Healthcare staff do not go to work in order to make mistakes and fail. Yet we are all working in challenging times and the pressure is on to perform and deliver high standards of care. This is what everyone wants...right?
What happens when something isn't right? not how we would like it... or not what we would want for our own family? We suggest some top tips so that everyone can feel able to challenge poor care in practice...
1. Firstly we have to be mindful of what is going on around us in practice. Re-frame the situation. Are the actions you are seeing appropriate for the situation? If they have always been done that way, then we must ask, is it still the right way? Look at every action with a 'fresh eyes' approach.
2. Look at your own actions in practice. Challenge your own practice! Why are you doing what you are doing? Is it appropriate, should you change your practice in light of new evidence? Is this how you would treat your own family? If not...what can we change?
3. Remain mindful of the different types of abuse that may surface as a result of poor care:
- Financial or material
- Neglect and acts of omission
- Modern slavery
These types of abuse can adversely affect both staff and patients. This is significant as poor staff experience is directly linked to a poorer patient experience.
4. Take ownership. If you see something that is not right, you must take action. This is nobody else responsibility but your own. You do nothing = Nothing changes = Poor care becomes embedded within the organisation. Remember your duty of care as a nurse or midwife & also as a doctor.
5. Decide which action to take. Address the situation at the point of discovery? Speak to your manager or another senior manager? or implement a whistle blowing policy? If you feel unable to do any of these things then you may also report your concerns anonymously to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).