Freedom to Speak Up

What is ‘Speaking Up’?

Speaking up is about anything that gets in the way of providing good care, which is safe and respectful.

When things go wrong, it is important to learn lessons and make improvements. If you think something might go wrong, you must feel able to speak up to prevent potential harm.

Even when things are good but could be better, you should feel able to say something. We will listen to your suggestion and use it as an opportunity for improvement.

What can I speak up about?

You can speak up about anything that gets in the way of safe and high-quality care. You can also speak up about anything that affects your experience in the workplace.

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 ‘making a protected disclosure’.

Others may only see making a protected disclosure 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 and by raising concerns early, we will make sure that we provide a service which is caring and safe for our patients, their relatives and carers, in an environment that is respectful for everyone.

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).

Who can ‘speak up’?

Trust colleagues

Every who works for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has the right to speak up. All clinical and non-clinical colleagues, volunteers, students, bank and agency colleagues and contractors. If you are a former employee of the Trust, you are also able to speak up about any concerns you may have.

Your line manager is your first point of call for any and all concerns. If you don’t feel you can speak up to them or to use other formal routes, please contact Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian or the Freedom to Speak Up Office.

Further information for colleagues can be found on the Freedom to Speak Up pages of the Trust’s intranet.

If you are a patient, carer or family of a patient

Please raise any concerns or make suggestions using any of the following:

What sort of concerns does the FTSU Guardian help with?

It has never been so important to speak up about patient care or your working environment. By doing this, we will make sure that we provide a service which is caring and safe for our patients, their relatives and carers, in an environment that is respectful for everyone.

A few examples include when concerns would be raised are:

  • unsafe patient care
  • unsafe working conditions
  • inadequate induction or training for staff
  • lack of, or poor, response to a reported patient safety incident
  • suspicions of fraud
  • A bullying culture

If you work for the Trust and have a concern about your employment that affects only you, this would be better to contact a member of the HR team for support.

If I want to speak up about something, what should I do?

Your line manager is your first point of call. If you don’t feel you can speak up to them or use other formal routes, contact your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian or the Freedom to Speak Up Office.