New shared learning - implementing the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role

silouet people

08 / 6 / 2016 Midnight

The raising concerns team has launched a new case study on how South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) recruited its Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian.

Read the case study to find out out how the trust's inclusive approach with staff, led by a task and finish group, resulted in the appointment of principle guardian Suzanne Deighton who is supported by a number of local guardians. 

Key points 

  • 4,000 employees over 150 sites.
  • Strong senior leadership support for the guardian appointment. 
  • Network of support guardians to champion raising concerns across professions and grades.
  • Effective communication to managers and staff about the election process - all staff encouraged to vote.
  • Close working relationship with the trust board - regular opportunity to feedback.
  • Information about the guardian model integrated into staff induction and weekly staff communications. 


All NHS trusts are required to have an FTSU guardian in place by 1 October 2016, inline with Sir Robert Francis's review and subsequent Department of Health Learning not blaming report. Support for guardians will be provided by the Office of the National Guardian which is currently establishing its role and functions. 

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