Evaluating 'Freedom to Speak Up Local Guardians'
The aim of this study is to better understand the introduction of a new role in NHS England designed to support staff who wish to raise concerns about the quality of patient care.
These roles are called 'Freedom to Speak Up Guardians' (referred to here as 'FTSUG'). Although 'speaking up' makes an important contribution to patient safety in the NHS, those who speak up have not always been treated well.
For example, the Francis Report in 2013 into serious patient care failures at Stafford Hospital identified that staff speaking up were often ignored and mistreated by colleagues. The related Freedom to Speak Up review by Francis in 2015 recommended that raising concerns should become a normal part of the job for anyone working in the NHS.
The introduction of the new FTSUG role is described as potentially making a huge contribution to improving the way 'Speak Up' cases are handled. However, there are some important differences in how the FTSUG role is being introduced by organisations across England.
More information is needed to fully understand differences in FTSUG roles and what these differences mean for staff raising concerns and how concerns, when raised, are acted upon.
This project is funded by the Secretary of State for Health.