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Care regulators, professional bodies and unions join forces to launch Speaking Up charter

15 October 2012

CQC has joined with other regulators, professional bodies and trade unions in today launching the Speaking Up charter, a commitment to work together to support people who raise concerns in the public interest.

Safety should be at the heart of all care, and people providing care services should always feel they are able to raise concerns The charter sets out a commitment to work more effectively together to create a just, open and transparent culture – one that ensures people are fully supported to report concerns and safety issues and are treated fairly and with empathy, when they have been involved in an incident or have raised a concern.

David Behan, CQC’s Chief Executive, said: “The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is committed to helping foster and create an open and transparent culture for those who 'speak out' in the health and social care sectors. We welcome wholeheartedly this charter.

"However charters are of limited value unless they are promoted and championed by leaders in health and social care. It is important that leaders listen and act on information that they receive from those who speak out about issues of safety of services."

Alongside CQC, signatories to the charter include NHS Employers, the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the British Dental Association, the Health and Care Professions Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, UNISON and Unite.

The charter recognises that we have separate but linked responsibilities for key aspects of the provision and regulation of care, or for supporting our members to provide high-quality, safe care.

We aim to develop a culture that provides for an environment where people feel able to raise concerns, be they staff, users of health and social care services, their relatives, or anyone else.

Under the charter, we commit to:

  • Work in partnership with other organisations to develop a positive culture by promoting openness, transparency, fairness, reporting and learning as an important and integral part of providing safer patient and public care.
  • Adhere to the principles of this charter to foster a culture of openness which supports staff to raise concerns.
  • Share expertise to create effective ways of breaking down barriers to reporting incidents and concerns early on.
  • Exchange information, where it is appropriate and lawful to do so, in the interest of patient and public safety.
  • Signpost individuals to support and guidance to ensure that they are fully aware of and understand their protected rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
  • Seek to highlight issues where current law or regulations may restrict those who wish to raise a concern about a human error.