Freedom To Speak Up

What is ‘Speaking Up’?

The Guardian Service - Here to Listen

Speaking up is about anything that gets in the way of providing good care.

When things go wrong, it is important to learn lessons and make improvements. It is also important to speak up about, and listen to, concerns to prevent potential harm.

The 24/7 Guardian Service is independent and confidential. It supports our staff to speak up about any concerns they may have at work. The Service also provides a dedicated Freedom To Speak Up Guardian for staff at NSFT.

Staff can speak to the Guardian, in confidence, about anything that gets in the way of safe and high-quality care. They can also speak up about anything that affects their experience in the workplace.

The Guardian Service is external to the Trust. It provides information and emotional support in a strictly confidential, non-judgmental manner.

It also supports our managers to listen to concerns and find solutions.

What is a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian?

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians (FTSUGs) help workers to speak up when they feel they cannot do so by other routes. 

Why were Freedom to Speak Up Guardians created?

The role of was created in response to recommendations made in Sir Robert Francis’ report, The Freedom to Speak Up (2015).

Is speaking up the same as ‘whistleblowing’?

Speaking up may include:

  • a quick discussion with a line manager
  • a suggestion for improvement
  • raising an issue with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian 
  • bringing a matter to the attention of a regulator

Some people may interpret any of these actions as ‘whistleblowing’.

Others may only see ‘whistleblowing’ as:

  • something that is ‘formal’
  • a matter that involves an outside an organisation
  • something that may qualify for ‘protection’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

Speaking up is all these things.

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