SDHB to Speak Up

The Southern District Health Board has launched a new "Speak Up'' programme, to allow staff to raise workplace concerns or issues with a peer.

About 40 SDHB staff have been appointed "Speak Up Supporters'' and identified as people staff can speak to if they have issues concerning health, safety and welfare.

The move coincides with the release of the SDHB's annual adverse event report, which revealed 66 incidents in 2017-18, four of which were caused by foreign-trained surgeons.

Investigations into shortcomings in the technique of overseas-trained surgeons highlighted the fact junior medical staff felt unable to raise concerns about the surgeon's work.

The SDHB had since ensured all junior staff were advised about the Speak Up programme, and that they had all received the registrar handbook, which outlined the importance of patient safety through good communication.

"One of the most important aspects of this programme is that it's peer-to-peer, so there's no requirement to involve managers,'' SDHB people, culture and technology executive director Mike Collins said.

"The goal is early intervention, which we hope will resolve the workplace challenge without escalation, and result in our staff being listened to.''

Two other DHBs, Auckland and Nelson-Marlborough, have introduced a similar programme.


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