Anita was a health visitor for children aged 0 -5 years and had been in the field for a number of years. She worked with a team of health visitors and her line manager. During this time, Anita became increasingly concerned over a colleague, C’s, failure to carry out their work responsibilities. Anita and her other colleagues collected evidence that C had missed several home visits and had covered this up. Initially Anita’s colleagues were reluctant to share this information due to their line manager’s close relationship to C. Additionally,within this period, a child had died and although C was not responsible, there were a number of discrepancies in the quality of C's care. A client had also filed a formal complaint against C.
The staff finally decided to talk to their line manager about their concerns, however after concerns were raised, C accused the rest of the staff of bullying her and was sent home with the policy guide book on bullying. C returned to work and a meeting was held. During the meeting, their line manager attributed various complaints to specific members of staff. Anita was upset that 1) naming had occurred and 2) C's performance issues were not discussed. Anita contacted Public Concern at Work for advice on how to approach her line manager to raise her concerns regarding the quality of C's care. Anita believed that C needed extended supervision by someone outside of the team and wanted to suggest this to her line manager.
WHAT WE ADVISED
We suggested that Anita should meet with her line manager and emphasise that her concerns were not personal and should frame her suggestions constructively. We advised that Anita could suggest that C needed extra help or additional training. We also advised Anita to recognise that ultimately it is her line manager’s decision and she only needed to raise her concerns with her line manager, or with the Area Manager, if she believed that the concerns were not dealt with effectively by her line manager.
Anita said she had a good relationship with both her line manager and the Area Manager and thanked PCaW for the advice.