34 coronavirus concerns raised by staff at Shropshire's main hospitals
Staff at Shropshire's main hospital trust raised concerns over coronavirus 34 times in two months, a new report says.
Twelve of the reports made at the trust that runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital were in relation to personal protective equipment and infection prevention.
A report from Kate Adney, the lead freedom to speak up guardian at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), shows staff raised concerns 34 times between March 20 and May 19.
The concerns fell into eight categories, including "personal protective equipment /infection prevention and control" which had the highest number at 12.
"Behaviours" was second with five and "emotional and wellbeing support," "patient safety" and "working from home" were joint third with four each.
“Every concern has been escalated and appropriate action taken in a timely manner with additional communications and support for staff to speak up,” Ms Adney said.
The report adds that staff have been provided with up-to-date information regarding PPE and that any concerns have been fed back to the infection prevention and control team.
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Freedom to speak up guardians are employed to protect patient safety by ensuring workers are supported in speaking up and that concerns help influence learning and improvement.
The guardians at SaTH have found that Covid-19 has brought "many concerns and anxieties to our staff," the report says.
"This has been both in the work place and at home. Everyone is different and is coping with Covid-19 in different ways.
"We have learned to acknowledge this and with the support from the trust we have been able to provide guidance, support, reassure and provide information to our colleagues.
"It is proving very useful to be part of the Covid-19 support network as this is not only encouraging staff to speak up about any concern they may have, but also enables our trust to understand how we can continue to support our staff during the coming months."
The report is due to be discussed at the trust's board meeting on Thursday.
Dr Arne Rose, medical director at SaTH, said: “Dealing with coronavirus is the biggest challenge the health service has ever faced. Our priority throughout this has been to keep our patients and staff safe.
"Our supplies and use of PPE have, in general, been excellent, but we have encouraged staff to speak up if they have had any concerns so that these can be addressed as soon as possible.
“We have an established route for raising concerns at SaTH, which is through our freedom to speak up guardians.
"The fact that staff raised their concerns and received a timely response from the trust shows that this route is working.”
Meanwhile the trust's chief executive has said that regular services are starting to return to normal now the coronavirus pandemic has “stabilised”.
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