What is Freedom to Speak Up?
Speaking up protects patient safety and improves the lives of workers.
When things go wrong, we need to make sure that lessons are learnt and things are improved.
If we think something might go wrong, it’s important that we all feel able to speak up so that potential harm is prevented.
Even when things are good, but could be even better, we should feel able to say something and should expect that our suggestion is listened to and used as an opportunity for improvement.
Freedom to Speak Up is about encouraging a positive culture where people feel they can speak up and their voices will be heard, and their suggestions acted upon.
What are Freedom to Speak Up Guardians?
Freedom to Speak Up Guardians support workers to speak up when they feel that they are unable to do so by other routes. They ensure that people who speak up are thanked, that the issues they raise are responded to, and make sure that the person speaking up receives feedback on the actions taken.
The role of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and the National Guardian were established in 2016 following the events at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and recommendations from Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up Inquiry.