Turn Up The Volume! National patient safety event. Challenging the culture of fear. A unique event entitled ‘Turn up the Volume! Curing the silence epidemic’ was held in at the University of the West of England in Bristol in October 2015.

The event was positive and engaging, focusing on sharing and learning, best practice and great leadership. At the same time not shying away from discussion on bad practice and bullying, which was at times poignant and upsetting.

Watch the short overview video here (less than 3 minutes):

This conference aimed to show others how to transform their culture and reminds how destructive it can be if you don’t get it right. The long term objective is to ensure that the event lives on after the 16th October. As a result we are building a dedicated resources page:

This includes a range of materials such as the graffiti walls from the event (example below); resources from the speakers and a Frequently Asked Question section.

We have also started a video library which will contain the presentations and edited highlights:

A ground breaking feature of the event was that it was inter-professional. Its remit transcended existing hierarchies and traditional boundaries. The day included speakers from the NHS and Industry, whistleblowers, commentators, academics and the Care Quality Commission. Ranging from Dr Umesh Prabhu Medical Director of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust, Chris Day, Director of Engagement at the CQC, Jenny Moore founder of the campaigning group Your Voice Matters, to Joan Pons Laplana a proud Nurse and change agent on a mission to empower frontline staff & patients to lead together.

This breaking down of barriers and mixing of people who don’t normally attend the same meetings or speak on the same platform has been influenced by the work of Martin Bromiley and the Clinical Human Factors Group. The aim being to promote safety by flattening hierarchies and encouraging productive dialogue between all involved.

Organiser Steve Turner comments: ‘Despite recent reviews and reports, the reality is that whistleblowing for staff is often career suicide and this has not changed. In fact the situation in some places seems to be getting worse rather than improving. Almost every week I hear at least one account of NHS or Social Care staff being bullied, often including being ostracised and explicitly told not to raise safety concerns, for example so their ‘manager doesn’t look bad’. What’s particularity sad is that these people don’t usually tell me ‘I’m being bullied’, instead they describe what I can see is bullying. So we really do need to Turn Up The Volume!’

1. Sir Robert Francis QC (February 2015) Freedom to Speak Up. An independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS. (accessed 4/10/15)


Turn up the volume

*We plan to announce a Turn up the Volume event for Cumbria in the coming weeks.

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