Freedom to Speak Up & Fairness

Find out about how to raise a concern, including more information on our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and our Fairness Champions.

Speaking up about any concerns you have at work will help us to keep improving our services for all patients and the working environment for our staff.

We know that listening to patients, carers and staff, learning from what they say and taking action, improves patient safety. The evidence suggests that the most important thing we can do to improve safety is to talk to each other and be kind to our colleagues.

Our ambition is to help the right safety culture grow and flourish.

Raising a Concern

If you have a concern, you can raise it formally or informally with your line manager (or lead clinician or tutor). If you don’t think this is appropriate for any reason you can use any of the options in the Speaking Up Policy (also known as the Whistleblowing Policy) including making a Datix report or contacting:

  • The Risk management team
  • The HR Team
  • The Freedom to Speak Up Guardian (see below)
  • Any of our Fairness Champions (see below)
  • Executive Directors
  • Our Non-Executive Director with responsibility for whistleblowing: Laura Robson
  • The Local Counter Fraud specialist, Steven Moss
  • Staff governors
  • Your Trade Union or Professional Organisation

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Every NHS trust must have a Freedom to Speak Up (FtSU) Guardian to give independent support and advice to staff who want to raise concerns. Click here to see our Speaking Up Policy

Guardians work with all staff to help NHS trusts become more open and transparent places where staff are actively encouraged and supported to ‘speak up’ safely without fearing the consequences.

At HDFT, we have a Lead FtSU Guardian available to support staff with concerns, however small or difficult, across the Trust, along with a network of Fairness Champions. More information is available on the intranet.

You can contact the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian on: [email protected]

There is useful information available at: Freedom to Speak Up Hub: NHS Employers and National Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’s Office and Protect – Speak up, stop harm.

Fairness Champions

We have appointed Fairness Champions and encourage more staff to join us in promoting the Trust values and behaviours, an open culture and speaking up, and specifically addressing undermining and bullying behaviours and unfairness. More information is available on the intranet.

Further Resources and Information

  • E-Learning: Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcareteam has developed e-learning sessions to equip healthcare staff with the knowledge and confidence to raise concerns. These are available from OLM and personal training accounts.
  • Educational Films: Three education and training films have been developed – “Raising Concerns, “Responding to Concerns” and “Making Speaking Up Business as Usual”. The films, which complement the e-learning, support healthcare professionals to feel empowered to raise and respond to concerns. To view the films please click here.