Freedom to Speak Up report published today

In September 2017 the National Guardian’s Office (NGO) conducted a review of the speaking up policies, processes and culture at the Trust.

A report into their findings has been published today which can be viewed here.

The NGO found examples of good practice including a robust recruitment process to select staff to undertake guardian roles and an improvement of HR processes to ensure they are more supportive of workers who speak up.

A number of recommendations were also made for how we can improve the support offered to staff who do speak up and how we can encourage more staff to use the internal routes for doing so including the Trust’s Freedom to Speak up Guardian and associate guardians.

The recommendations include:

  • The Trust should revise its policies for incident reporting and handling, serious incidents, bullying and harassment and Speaking up
  • The Trust should put in place appropriate measures to monitor speaking up processes and provide feedback to staff who speak up
  • The Trust should introduce mandatory training for staff around speaking up processes.

Dr Peter Reading, Chief Executive, said: “We are keen to learn from the report findings to help us strengthen our approach to speaking up. We know that our staff have not always been listened to in the past but we are determined to create an open and honest culture where they feel fully supported to speak up about any concerns they have. We want to ensure that where staff do speak up they feel listened to, taken seriously and their concerns are acted upon. We will be reviewing our policies in line with these recommendations and a detailed action plan will be going to our next board meeting.”

Mr Hemadri was appointed as our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian last January and since then we have also:

  • Launched the Listening into Action scheme, a nationally recognised approach which aims to re-engage staff at all levels empowering them to make changes to improve staff and patient experiences.
  • Held meet the chief sessions where staff can raise issues directly with the Chief Executive
  • Created a senior leadership community to re-engage with managers across the Trust
  • Appointed an equality and diversity lead
  • Used the internationally recognised Barrett Organisational Values Culture Assessment to talk to staff about their personal values and how they compare to the organisational culture at the Trust
  • Improved the visibility of the Trust Board with regular visits to departments
  • Focused on organisational development and culture as part of the Trust’s Improving Together programme
Since the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian was appointed 40 staff members and one member of the public have contacted him. All of the concerns relate to either processes or behaviour: 18 related to processes, 10 to behaviour and 13 to processes and behaviours.

To read more about Mr Hemadri’s role and how he can support staff on this page.