What is speaking up?

It’s about anything that gets in the way of our DHU People doing a great job.

The National Guardians Office, which is responsible for overseeing Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) in the NHS says: ‘When things go wrong, we need to make sure that lessons are learnt, and things are improved. If we think something might go wrong, it’s important that we all feel able to speak up to stop potential harm. Even when things are good, but could be even better, we should feel able to say something and be confident that our suggestion will be used as an opportunity for improvement.’

‘Freedom to Speak Up’ is part of an open, honest, inclusive culture. So, if our people are concerned about patient care and services or worried about what’s happening in the workplace, we actively encourage them to share it with us.

Absolutely. We encourage our patients and their families to speak up when they have a compliment concern or complaint about our care or services.  We like to know when we do well – so we can share good practice.  We also need to know when care and services don’t meet your expectations, so we can listen, learn, act and improve. You can find out more here.

Freedom to Speak Up is for anyone who works in the NHS or any organisation that provides healthcare – including everyone who works at DHU Healthcare.

Anything that gets in the way of delivering high-quality patient care and services, or that affects their working life.

It could be something that doesn’t feel right, for example a way of working or a process which isn’t being followed, or the behaviours of others that you feel have an impact on the well-being of you, the people they work with, or their patients. Across the NHS people have spoken up about unsafe patient care, unsafe working conditions, inadequate induction or training for staff, lack of, or poor, response to a reported patient safety incident, suspicions of fraud and a bullying culture.

Speaking up is about all these things. If it is a worry to our people - and affecting how they or their team are able to work - we need to know about it.

Speaking up may take many forms. It could be a quick discussion with a line manager in a catch-up, a suggestion for improvement submitted as part of a staff suggestion scheme, a conversation with a senior leader, executive director or one of our Staff Forum representatives. We encourage colleagues to speak up openly through these routes so that we can provide swift help and support.

They can also contact our Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardians for support. They offer confidential and impartial advice – promise to listen to what our people have to say and will agree with them what the next steps are. This could include getting everyone together to talk through the concern or carrying out an investigation into the issue they’ve raised

Meet Our Guardians

JT.pngJenny Tilson

Director of Nursing and Quality


ZL.pngZahra Leggatt

Director of People and Organisational Development


Our Board Lead for Freedom to Speak Up:

GA.pngGillian Adams

Non-Executive Director


If you would like the contact details for our Guardians please message our communications team here.

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