Freedom to Speak Up Information Sessions

The National Guardian’s Office is delivering virtual information sessions for organisations or individuals interested in learning more about Freedom to Speak Up and the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian role.

This session will help you to:

  • Understand more about Freedom to Speak Up and the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role
  • Start to consider how Freedom to Speak Up can be implemented in your organisation and any barriers to address
  • Consider your next steps
  • Know where to go for support

You can register for our information sessions here.

Please note that if you have been appointed to fulfil a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role, you will need to undertake a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Introductory Session.  If this is something you would like to arrange please contact enquiries@nationalguardianoffice.org.uk.

You may also be interested in  Freedom to Speak Up e-learning, developed in association with Health Education England and freely available for anyone who works in healthcare. ‘Speak Up, Listen Up, Follow Up’ is divided into three modules, it helps learners understand the vital role they can play in a healthy speaking up culture which protects patient safety and enhances worker experience.

Speak Up: Core Training for all Workers , covers what speaking up is and why it matters. It will help you understand how you can do this and what to expect. Listen Up – for managers at all levels, focuses on listening and understanding the barriers to speaking up.  A final module, Follow Up, for senior leaders – including executive and Non-Executive Directors, lay members and governors – will be launched later this year.

You do not have to work for an NHS organisation to access this training, it is available to anybody who would like to register.

Contact e-LfH if your organisation would like to embed this within your own Learning Management System (LMS)

Data provided by Freedom to Speak Up Guardians on speaking up

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians collect data on the cases  that are raised with them.

The National Guardian’s Office collects data from guardians on a quarterly basis and publishes some of that detail on this web page.

At the end of each year guardians are invited to check and reconcile their data submissions to ensure accuracy.

That data is then used to compile a year end report reflecting on some of the trends and themes.

Quarterly data 2020/21

Speaking up data report 2019/20

2019/2020 Annual Speaking Up Data Report reflects on some of the trends and themes from the speaking up data for last year, from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020

Key data:
• Between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, 16,199 speaking up cases were raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. This was a 32 per cent increase compared with the previous year in which 12,244 speaking up cases were raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

• Freedom to Speak Up Guardians supported speaking up in a range of organisations, including NHS trusts, primary care organisations, independent healthcare providers, clinical commissioning groups and non-departmental public bodies.

• Among NHS trusts, Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in mental health, learning disability and community trusts and ambulance trusts, on average, dealt with more speaking up cases.

• Freedom to Speak Up Guardians continued to support workers from all professional groups to speak up. Nurses continued to account for the biggest portion (28 per cent) of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

• Administrative and clerical workers accounted for the next biggest portion of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians (19 per cent), up three percentage points on the previous year.

• Twenty-three per cent (23%) of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians included an element of patient safety/quality. Thirty-six per cent (36%) included an element of bullying/harassment.

• Thirteen per cent (13%) of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians were raised anonymously.

• Detriment for speaking up was indicated in three per cent of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. This is lower compared to the previous year where detriment was indicated in five per cent of cases raised with Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

• Eighty-five per cent (85%) of workers who gave feedback said they would speak up again. Workers said they would not speak up again in three per cent of cases where feedback was received.

Quarterly data

FAQs

Which organisations should appoint Freedom to Speak Up Guardians?

Any organisation can appoint a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Organisations that provide services under the NHS Standard Contract (which includes but isn’t limited to NHS trusts and Foundation Trusts) are required to nominate a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian NHS primary care provider organisations are expected to follow NHS England’s guidance on Freedom to Speak Up which includes guidance on appointing Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. In addition, the National Guardian’s Office expect health and care leadership organisations and regulators to appoint Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. An increasing number of non-health organisations are also appointing Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

Read the 2019/20 NHS standard contract.

Who pays for Freedom to Speak Up Guardians?

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians are paid for by the organisation that appoints them.

What is the difference between a Guardian, Champion and Ambassador?

Champions and Ambassadors are often appointed to work alongside Guardians to complement the work they do, and may be especially helpful in organisations that cover a large workforce. Whilst Freedom to Speak up Guardians are expected to follow the NGO’s universal job description, the exact nature of the role carried out by Champions/Ambassadors varies depending on the needs of the organisation. In some cases they perform a sign-posting role, in others their role may be similar to that of a Guardian.

Archives

Annual Speaking Up Data Reports

2018/19 year end report reflects on some of the trends and themes from the speaking up data for the year – 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

  • 12,244 cases were raised to FTSU Guardians in trusts and Foundation trusts between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019.
  • The total number of cases raised in 2018/19 was 73% higher than that raised in the 2017/18 reporting period

2017/18 year end report   Data year – 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018:
7,087 cases were raised to Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardians in NHS trusts and foundation trusts

Quarterly Data Archives

Submitted speaking up data for 2018/19
(reconciled)

 Quarterly data for 2017/18