Guidance published on appointing Freedom to Speak Up Guardians

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11 / 3 / 2016 4.15pm

A guide for NHS trusts on establishing the Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian role has been published by the Office of the National Guardian.

The document sets out guidance for organisations recruiting to the role and also includes initial proposals on how appointed guardians will be supported, which will continue to be developed with guardians to ensure they are fit for purpose.

While the remit of the Office of the National Guardian is to focus on NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts, from April 2016 they will be working with NHS England to consider how this may be extended to cover primary care. This does not prevent any primary care organisation or other body establishing their own FTSU arrangements or using the guidance in the interim. 

Key points from the guidance

  • Every trust will be required to have a FTSU guardian in place by the end of the 2016/17 financial year, however the guidance states that it is an appointment not to be rushed.
  • Trusts are expected to have plans in place by September 2016, based on local needs.
  • The title of these roles will be the same across the NHS to ensure clarity and consistency.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role specification

Read the specification which has been designed with flexibility to ensure that the role meets the needs of your local organisation.


Support from the national office 

Local guardians will be supported through a network established by the Office of the National Guardian. National leads, whom have yet to be appointed, will manage and support this network. Free training and network days will be available however the National Guardian Office will not be able to cover the cost of travel and accommodation, the office will aim to keep these costs to a minimum. 

Organisations are encouraged to email national.guardian@nationalguardianoffice.org with the name and contact details of their FTSU guardian once the appointment has been made, so they can contact the individual directly.


Further information: The guidance, role specification and letters that have been sent to trusts are available on the Care Quality Commission website. 

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