Meet our New Speak Up Ambassadors

A new Speak Up service has been introduced in NHS Forth Valley to help encourage and support you to raise any concerns you have in the workplace.

The service aims to ensure your voice is heard, make it easier to raise concerns and ensure you feel supported when doing so. It is open to local staff, students, volunteers, colleagues in primary care, Serco staff and other contractors we work with.

To support the new service, two Speak Up Ambassadors and several Speak Up Advocates, have been appointed available to lend an ear and offer guidance and support. They provide a confidential, impartial service where you can discuss concerns in a safe space or just need some support, advice or information.

Our local Speak Up Ambassadors are Dr Catherine Maclean, Consultant and Clinical Lead for Acute Medicine and Pauline Donnelly, Person-Centred and Patient Experience Coordinator. Both Ambassadors also act as confidential contacts for any concerns raised through the revised national Whistleblowing procedures which were rolled out in NHS Forth Valley in April 2021.

Here both of our new Speak Up Ambassadors describe why they were keen to undertake this new role and why it’s so important for staff to talk to someone if they have any concerns at work.

Dr Catherine Mclean – Consultant in Acute Medicine

“I first came to Forth Valley in 2011 during my training. Working with staff in various departments and roles, I really appreciated their friendliness and enthusiasm and how they welcomed a new member to the team. I came back when I became a Consultant and I am based in the medical assessment units (AAU and CAU) on the Forth Valley Royal Hospital site.

“Healthcare is complex and this means that issues and concerns are to be expected. Staff are the eyes, ears and voice of the organisation in identifying and understanding these.  We regularly see the learning from issues being raised by staff.  However, if concerns go unrecognised, it compromises the experience and wellbeing of our staff and patients.

“The Speak Up service is about supporting staff, students and colleagues to be heard when they have a concern, making it the norm to raise concerns and ensuring people feel supported when doing so.

“I’m delighted to see NHS Forth Valley investing in this new service. Over the coming months, we will be working to understand what is working well and where barriers exist. My personal message to staff is to tell us your experience because your voice matters and my commitment is that I will listen.”

Pauline Donnelly, Person-Centred and Patient Experience Coordinator

“Through my experiences of supporting patients, families and staff, I have gained a wide knowledge and experience of listening, supporting and caring which has provided me with the opportunity to build and develop relationships.

“I believe that by supporting staff they are given the opportunity to have a voice, be listened to and to be heard.  The introduction of the new Speak up Initiative gives staff a safe place to go to raise their concerns and to help them feel valued.

“I am honoured to be given this opportunity to provide support and encouragement to staff to make NHS Forth Valley a place where your voice and opinions matter, and I look forward to working with you all over the coming months.

You can contact the Speak Up service by emailing fv.speakup@nhs.scot or call 07815 478 117. Messages and emails are only accessible to our two local Speak Up Ambassadors.

In the next issue we will hear from our six new Speak Up Advocates but, in the meantime, you can find their names and more information about the new service on the Speak Up section of the NHS Forth Valley public website.