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Improving NHS Workplace Culture - Whistleblowers Given A Voice

4th February 2020

Whistleblowing Champions have been appointed to health boards across Scotland in a move aimed at creating a more honest and open workplace culture within the NHS.

A total of 19 appointments have been made by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, with them all taking up their posts from this week.

Ms Freeman said:"I believe passionately in the NHS Scotland values of care and compassion, dignity and respect, openness, honesty, responsibility, quality and teamwork - and the level of interest in these posts demonstrates the level of enthusiasm for those values.

"I have been clear from the outset that the right people with the right skills should be appointed to the vital role of Whistleblowing Champion. I am therefore delighted that 19 out of Scotland's 22 health boards now have one in place, with a further appointment round taking place shortly for the remaining three health boards.

“The NHS in Scotland does a fantastic job of looking after patients but it is just as important that NHS staff experience the care and respect they show to others. I am confident that these appointments will help create a better working environment for all."

Background

The Whistleblowing Champion role builds on existing support in place for whistleblowers within the NHS.

The introduction of these roles form part of a wider package of measures which will further strengthen and enhance the current policy architecture in NHS Scotland. Other measures include:

• the introduction of legislation to allow the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to take on the role of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for NHS Scotland, which will go live this summer

• the review of workforce policies, including the Whistleblowing policy, to ensure that they are person centred, and applied consistently across all Health Boards

The full list of appointments

Non-executive Whistleblowing Champion Board Members appointed to NHSScotland Boards

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP, today announced the appointments of 19 NHSScotland Non-executive Whistleblowing Champion Board Members.

Ms Freeman said:

“I believe passionately in the NHS Scotland values of care and compassion, dignity and respect, openness, honesty, responsibility, quality and teamwork - and the level of interest in these posts demonstrates the level of enthusiasm for those values.

“I have been clear from the outset that the right people with the right skills should be appointed to the vital role of Whistleblowing Champion. I am therefore delighted that 19 out of Scotland's 22 health boards now have one in place, with a further appointment round taking place shortly for the remaining three health boards.

“The NHS in Scotland does a fantastic job of looking after patients but it is just as important that NHS staff experience the care and respect they show to others. I am confident that these appointments will help create a better working environment for all."

MEMBERS

Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board

Dr Sukhomoy Das has qualifications in Medicine and Law. He has worked as a hospital doctor in several Health Boards since 1996, with special interest and skills in Stroke Medicine, including NHS Tayside, where he is currently the Regional Rehabilitation Lead and Chair for the East of Scotland Major Trauma Centre, a member of the Scottish Trauma Network’s Steering/Core Group, Rehabilitation Group and Clinical Forum. Dr Das contributes to education as an Honorary Senior Clinical Teacher of Dundee University School of Medicine. He became publicly known as a “whistleblower”, and for his direct contribution into the Freedom to Speak Up review, the only NHS Scotland employee invited by Sir Robert Francis QC to do so. Dr Das campaigned fearlessly and constructively engaged with Scottish Ministers, Government, and Parliament to adopt the review report and implement its recommendations to protect the public, public money and whistleblowers.

Borders NHS Board

Sonya Lam is an independent advisor for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) with over 32 years of NHS experience and 20 years of multi-professional leadership at national, regional and health board levels, including strategic, operational and project development roles within two major teaching trusts and two special health boards in both England and Scotland. She has been a registrant council member of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) since 2014. Sonya was appointed as the first Director of AHPs for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in 2006. In her 10 years at NES, she had a portfolio of responsibilities for nine of the sixteen professional groups regulated by the HCPC and was responsible for providing strategic leadership to ensure the education and lifelong learning needs of the AHPs employed by NHS Scotland were met. Prior to her managerial and leadership posts, Sonya was a clinical specialist physiotherapist in respiratory care. She was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2011.

Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board

Marsali Caig has considerable senior leadership and strategic planning experience. Having trained as a solicitor, she has worked in the health sector for 20 years, beginning with a career as a civil servant in Whitehall supporting Ministers and Special Advisors at the Department of Health followed by a number of senior management roles in health and social care settings in both Scotland and England. These roles have had a particular focus on commissioning of services and supporting change through programme and project management. She also has significant experience within the third sector as a former trustee of the Scottish national charity, Food Train, and is currently a trustee of Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service. Marsali is passionate about organisational development, culture and wellbeing.

Fife NHS Board

Katy Miller is a Human Resources professional, having held a number of senior leadership positions in both the Public and Private sectors. Having made Scotland her home a number of years ago, with her husband and children, she is a strong advocate for Public sector services, including the National Health Service. This is coupled with her passion and curiosity for organisational culture, transformation and leadership and supporting organisations to successfully deliver service excellence.

Forth Valley NHS Board

Gordon Johnston has held senior roles in the public and voluntary sectors in areas including community development, managing a local community engagement organisation, and co‑ordinating the distribution of National Lottery and European funding. He is now active in many third sector mental health organisations in Scotland, has considerable leadership and governance experience and is currently chair of Bipolar Scotland and a Public Partner with Healthcare Improvement Scotland. He also carries out paid consultancy work, mainly in peer research, patient engagement, community development and organisational development. Gordon was appointed as a Board member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland in April 2017 and chairs its Audit, Risk and Information Governance Committee. In 2019 he became a member of the Mental Health Strategic Delivery Board, established and chaired by the Minister for Mental Health.

Grampian NHS Board and Highland NHS Board

Albert Donald is a retired senior Police Officers and a former Independent Convener of Adult Protection Committees. He also currently undertakes role which involve scrutiny and compliance of policy and process in both the public and private sector as well as participating in voluntary work. He brings to both his new Whistleblowing Champion roles, a breadth of experience in setting strategic direction, policy development and implementation, strong and effective partnership working, independent scrutiny and analysis as well as constructive and supporting challenge and accountability.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board

Charles Vincent MEng MBA is a highly experienced corporate board member, working in highly regulated industries and their accompanying governance. He has also been a Children’s Hearing Scotland panel member for a number of years making complex decisions about the futures of vulnerable children in partnership with the various agencies involved in their lives. He brings to the board his vast experience of developing high performance cultures that are able to continuously improve through supportive self-analysis. This includes managing the complex disagreements that inevitably occur when there are conflicting priorities within an organisation. Charles has lived his whole life in Glasgow and is committed to ensuring that its residents get the very best healthcare possible.

Lanarkshire NHS Board and Western Isles NHS Board

Lesley McDonald worked in local government in the Western Isles for over twenty years where she was involved in the formulation and review of policies including Reporting Concerns at Work. She retired in 2018 and now spends most of her time in Lanarkshire. She has a particular interest in health and social care which has developed in her current role as an enthusiastic, if unskilled, carer for her father.

Lothian NHS Board

Katharina Kasper is a senior risk and compliance professional, with substantial experience acting as a risk subject matter expert and professional adviser. Her advice supports key decision makers and helps to deliver tangible, sustainable improvement and value to the business. Katharina’s core areas of expertise are audit, oversight and assurance; risk management, financial crime prevention and organisational transformation. Katharina has worked in a variety of risk, compliance and transformation roles in the Financial Services (FS) industry; as well as a management consultant, advising a wide breadth of UK and EU based financial institutions, including FS regulators. Katharina holds an MA in Business and Law from the University of Edinburgh and a Diploma in Enterprise Risk Management from the Institute of Risk Management.

Orkney NHS Board

Jason Taylor has a career background in Enforcement and Compliance, having served as a Police Officer and latterly as a Planning Control Officer. He has considerable experience in problem solving and analysis, investigating and resolving complaints, and ensuring processes are adhered to. Jason is a firm believer in delivering and tailoring services to suit the communities they serve. As part of that commitment, he sits as a member of the Management Committee that provides governance and oversight of Orkney Housing Association Ltd.

Shetland NHS Board

Shona Manson became a Non-Executive Member of NHS Shetland in September 2017 given her particular interest in public health and early intervention and prevention around mental ill health and addiction. With a background in social work and subsequently the founder of local mental health charity Mind Your Head, she had also been the Manager of Relationships Scotland - Shetland for almost 13 years. They provide mediation, counselling and family support to families, couples and the wider community with their main aim being to reduce conflict and assist people to build better relationships. As a qualified mediator, this new whistleblowing role seemed like a perfect fit for Shona as she is experienced in assisting people to have difficult conversations, help them to tease out issues and support them through challenging processes. Shona brings a professional approach which is balanced with being approachable and empathetic where she realises the importance of everyone having their say. Her experience as a mediator requires her to be neutral and impartial.

Tayside NHS Board

Donald McPherson is a solicitor and chartered governance professional. He spent his career working in legal and governance roles with large listed companies in the financial services and energy sectors, most recently as Company Secretary of Alliance Trust PLC, a listed investment trust, where he also chaired the Alliance Trust Foundation. He now acts as a corporate governance consultant. He is also Chair of the Board of The Circle Scotland CIC, a social enterprise which operates a community hub in Dundee. Donald is passionate about the role that good governance can play in improving the performance of organisations and maximising their contribution to society, regardless of the sector in which they operate.

NHS 24 Board

Liz Mallinson has held leadership roles across the public, private and voluntary sectors in Scotland. She has experience in strategic planning, business development and delivery of transformational change programmes at forefront of policy, service development and market change. Her executive career includes roles with Scottish Enterprise, NHS 24 and Project Scotland. Most recently she was Director for Next Generation Access with BT and the Digital Scotland Superfast Programme. She is a Non-Executive Director with Institute of Occupational Medicine.

NHS Education for Scotland Board

Details of the Whistleblowing Champion for NHS Education for Scotland will be released soon.

Scottish Ambulance Service Board and Public Health Scotland Board

Elizabeth Humphreys has over 30 years of leadership experience in the public and third sectors in the areas of justice, marine management, culture and health. She has extensive board-level strategic, policy and governance experience, with particular expertise in championing equality and diversity; leading change; business resilience and risk management. She is currently Vice-Chair of Independent Living Fund Scotland and Chair of Drake Music Scotland. She is also a Trustee of the Scottish Association for Mental Health and works with three befriending charities. She believes passionately in organisational leadership which promotes excellence in service delivery through an open and supportive culture for all.

The State Hospitals Board for Scotland

Brian Moore has had a 39 year local authority career with considerable experience of social care and social work services as a practitioner and senior manager. Brian qualified as a social worker in 1980. In May 2017 he retired from the position of Chief Officer for Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership. In September 2018 he was appointed to the position of Non-Executive Member on Lanarkshire NHS Board. His management and leadership roles have provided significant experience of organisational change, community engagement, service developments and improvements, partnership working and making best use of available resources. His current experience of Non-Executive Director role has furthered enhanced his understanding of organisational governance and the required skills and behaviours necessary to ensure accountability and transparency.

APPOINTMENTS

The appointments will be for four years and will run from 1st February 2020 to 31st January 2024, with the exception of Public Health Scotland, which will run from 1st March 2020 to 29 February 2024.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

REMUNERATION

The appointments are part-time with a time commitment of one day per week. The mainland positions attract a remuneration of £8,584 per annum and the island positions attract a remuneration of £7,859 per annum.

OTHER MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS

Brian Moore is a Member of Lanarkshire NHS Board for which he receives remuneration of £8,584 per annum, for a time commitment of one day per week.

Elizabeth Humphreys is a Non-Executive Director and the Vice-Chair of the Independent Living Fund Scotland for which she receives remuneration of £177.24 per day for a time commitment of up to 18 days per year.

Gordon Johnston is a Member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland for which he receives remuneration of £232.03 per day for a time commitment of 15 days per annum.

Shona Manson stood down from her role as a Member of Shetland NHS Board on taking up the Whistleblowing Champion appointment. She does not hold any other ministerial appointments.

Albert Donald, Charles Vincent, Donald McPherson, Jason Taylor, Katharina Kasper, Katy Miller, Lesley McDonald, Liz Mallinson, Marsali Caig, Sonya Lam and Dr Sukhomoy Das do not hold any other public appointments.

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Marsali Caig stood as a ward councillor five years ago for the Scottish Labour Party, she was not elected. She was Dumfries and Galloway Constituency Labour Party Women’s Officer five years ago. Marsali’s activities on behalf of the Labour Party ceased approximately three years ago.

Albert Donald, Brian Moore, Charles Vincent, Donald McPherson, Elizabeth Humphreys, Gordon Johnston, Jason Taylor, Katharina Kasper, Katy Miller, Lesley McDonald, Liz Mallinson, Shona Manson, Sonya Lam and Dr Sukhomoy Das have had no political activity within the last five years.

NHS Scotland currently employs approximately 140,000 staff who work across 14 territorial NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body.  All NHS Boards work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland.  They also work closely with partners in other parts of the public sector to fulfil the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes.

The NHS is one of the most valued organisations in the country and whistleblowing should be welcomed as it allows the organisation to put right anything that may compromise patient safety or the integrity of the Board.

The Whistleblowing Champions will promote a culture of openness and transparency in their Board’s where all staff feel confident to raise any concerns they may have in the knowledge that they will be supported and their concerns properly investigated. Being able to provide assurance that staff are able to raise concerns in an open, honest, and supportive workplace is a hugely worthwhile role.

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