15 / 12 / 2015 10.30am
Chris Hall is a freedom to speak up guardian at Hounslow and Richmond Community NHS Trust. in his second blog, he describes the importance of sharing good practice and his attendance at NHS Employers raising concerns share and learn event.
As more NHS trusts appoint freedom to speak up guardians and their equivalent, it becomes increasingly important that those already in the role share their ideas and experiences. Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the share and learn meeting hosted by NHS Employers in central London. This was my first real opportunity to exchange ideas for role development face-to-face with my peers. Some guardians had been in post for longer than me, others for less time, but what became clear was that without exception we all wish to make this new role a big success. There was much discussion and exchange of ideas, and a real spirit of mutual support and collaboration.
On a practical level, we were able to share some of the diagnostic and record keeping tools being developed. Also, as individual trusts work on raising and maintaining awareness within their workforce, examples of publicity campaign materials were shared.
With the imminent appointment of the new national guardian, hosted by the Care Quality Commission, who will oversee and support the work of guardians across the country, our hope is that the ideas generated from these early collaborations will influence the development of this national role, and also be of practical help to those trusts who are yet to introduce the role locally.
One of the recommendations of the Freedom to Speak Up review by Sir Robert Francis QC was for a single national whistleblowing policy for the NHS. A draft policy created by Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) and NHS England has recently been published for consultation. Some of my fellow guardians and I had the opportunity to review this document and we have ideas that could be incorporated into the policy.
As the number of guardians across the country grows in the coming months, I hope this feeling of openness and enthusiasm is maintained. There will be many who bring new ideas and experiences to the table, all contributing to our mutual goal of an improving culture of openness in the NHS.