A five-week consultation with primary care staff was held that has been used as the basis of the new guidance. This was prompted by Sir Robert Francis’ recommendation that the principles set out in his Freedom to Speak Up report be adapted for primary care due to concerns around anonymity in smaller work environments.
Earlier this year, NHS England became a ‘prescribed person’, which means that primary care service staff in GP surgeries, opticians, pharmacies and dental practices can raise any concerns regarding inappropriate activity with NHS England directly.
Recommendations that arose from the consultation include:
Neil Churchill, NHS England Director for Patient Experience, said: “Safety in primary care depends on listening to, and acting on, concerns raised. This new guidance will help ensure that if someone witnesses a risk to patient safety, they can speak out without reprisal and confident that effective action will be taken.
“A safe NHS is an open and honest NHS where we routinely learn from mistakes and use that learning to improve patient safety.”