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BT: CARE, Anonimity / Code of Practice

7 December 2014

The CWU Personnel Team met with Kasey Brown who heads up CARE for BT and Hedley Hamilton from the third party provider ‘Any3’ that run the CARE survey on behalf of BT.

The team were satisfied that anonymity was explicit in the contract with the provider, as described by Hedley Hamilton, and that the provider would ruin it’s reputation if anonymity were breached. The only exception to this would be if individual comments were made that were considered ‘comments of concern’ e.g. suicidal. In these circumstances and only these circumstances the team from which the comments originated would be revealed to Kasey Brown and the Chief Medical Officer of BT, Dr Paul Litchfield, to action as appropriate.

The one limitation that Hedley Hamilton accepted was where work schedules require time to be allocated to participate in the survey then managers may know who has participated but not the content of their survey answers. Reports are only provided where more than six people in a team have responded.

The team pointed out that the automated reminders from Any3, falsely fuelled the perception that BT knew who had participated. Reminders from BT managers were blanket reminders but again falsely fuelled the perception that BT knew who had participated and who had not.

The CWU team also pointed out abuses of the process which we had previously flagged to BT such as coaching on specific questions to improve indices; managers emailing teams asking people to elaborate on comments made; managers guessing who made a particular comment and confronting that person; managers implying that poor scores would lead to site closures. The team accepted that BT had dealt with these escalations promptly and ensured the poor practice was stopped.

The team suggested a ‘Code of Practice’ might be useful in curbing any poor behaviour. Kasey Brown indicated a willingness to explore this possibility with the Unions.