Can Do Health & Care - NHS Uncomfortable Truths Report

18 | ICS System Learning: Uncomfortable Truths Amina: I set up a charity in the past, bridging the gap between mainstream services and local minority communities. The charity sector then changed and became very competitive, we had to compete for the little funding we had against bigger charities, and this became unsustainable. “Smaller organisations that would make really big differences would rarely get funding because the funding would go to the big organisations, or ‘preferred providers’”. Our overseas staff need the right social support, without it there are impacts on their workplace and on patient care. Uncomfortable Truth 7: 98% of NHS staff report they have experienced incivility in the workplace: the NHS is described as having “poor leadership behaviours, discrimination, bullying, blame culture and responsibility avoidance”. NHS England, General Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard Belinda: Practice Plus Group employs 5,500 people providing some secondary care services, as well as healthcare in prisons where as you can imagine our staff experience a lot of abuse. In Suffolk and North East Essex we operate NHS 111, an out of hours GP service and our Clinical Assessment Service. We need a major piece of work on what we walk past and what becomes normal for our teams. For example, a huge amount of abuse that our staff experience in our call centres is based on their accent. Staff tolerate verbal and sometimes physical abuse because they care about their patients so much. They say they understand why the person is like that, recognising they are uncomfortable, in pain, frustrated. “As leaders we have to say that abuse is not acceptable, and we need to encourage our staff to speak up.” Our Clinical Assessment Service is telephone- and video-based support, dealing with 30,000 patients a month in Suffolk and North East Essex. We are losing dental nurses as they are on the receiving end of verbal abuse every day from frustrated patients who cannot get access to a dental service, in pain and sometimes threatening self-harm or suicide. We never thought we would be training dental nurses in how to deal with abuse and providing wrap-around support. The uncomfortable truth is that patients are in that extreme state, and that staff are leaving as they did not expect this extent of verbal abuse when they entered their careers.

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