Freedom to speak up award

Posted on Fri, 11/10/2019

Gateshead has won a national award for its commitment to making sure that staff are able to speak up when things go wrong.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians have been in post in all NHS organisations and Foundation trusts in England for a number of years as a result of Sir Robert Francis’ Reports in the fallings at Mid-Staffs hospital. Gateshead has now been commended after achieving the highest Freedom to Speak Up Index score in the Combined Acute and Community Trust category.

Workers can sometimes find it difficult to speak up about issues. They may not know who to speak up to. They may feel that anything they do raise will not be taken seriously and nothing will be done as a result.

It is important to break down barriers and remove obstacles that prevent or dissuade workers from speaking up. By speaking up, workers can help organisations affect change and embed learning.

Chief executive Yvonne Ormston MBE said: “It’s vital that our people feel able to speak up without fear of reprisal. Not only does this show that we value and trust our staff it will ultimately make all NHS services safer for patients. This award is a real step in the right direction but there is still more to do. Well done to Gareth Rowlands in his role as the Freedom to Speak up Guardian for really driving this agenda forward in Gateshead”

Dr Henrietta Hughes, National Guardian for the NHS, said, “It’s so important that when workers want to speak up that they can do this in a supportive environment. Thanking staff and listening and acting on the issues raised allows organisations to improve more successfully. Speaking up can really make difference.”

October is Speak Up Month but it’s important that all staff feel able to speak up and raise concerns throughout the year - so that we can support them to give the best possible care to our patients in hospital and the community.

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