If staff raise a genuine concern under the Freedom to Speak Up Policy, they will not be at risk of losing their job or suffering any form of reprisal as a result. We will not tolerate the harassment or victimisation of anyone raising a concern. Nor will we tolerate any attempt to bully staff into not raising a concern.
Any such behaviour is a breach of our values as an organisation and, if upheld following an investigation, could result in disciplinary action. Providing staff are acting honestly, it does not matter if they are mistaken or if there an innocent explanation for their concerns.
We hope staff will feel comfortable raising a concern openly, but we also appreciate that they may want to raise it confidentially. This means that while staff may be willing for their identity to be known to the person they report their concern to, they may not want anyone else to know their identity. Therefore, we will keep their identity confidential, if that is what wanted.
Anyone who works (or has worked) in the NHS, or for an independent organisation that provides NHS services can raise concerns. This includes agency workers, temporary workers, students, volunteers and governors.
In many circumstances the easiest way to get a concern resolved will be to raise it formally or informally with the line manager (or lead clinician or tutor).
But where it is not appropriate to do this, the concern can be raised using any of the options set out below in the first instance.
If raising it with the line manager (or lead clinician or tutor) does not resolve matters or staff do not feel able to raise it with them, they can contact one of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians (Kathleen Chambers or Jenny Smit) by email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an important role identified in the Francis Freedom to Speak Up review (2015) to act as an independent and impartial source of advice to staff at any stage of raising a concern, with access to anyone in the organisation including the chief executive, or if necessary, outside the organisation.
Staff can also raise their concern with the independent Non-Executive director Jane Gaddum who can be contacted via email email@example.com if they feel they still have concerns or they feel the matter is so serious that they cannot disclose it with any of the above. The independent non-executive director supports the work of the FTSU Guardians and will focus particularly on concerns of a serious nature.
If for any reason staff do not feel comfortable raising their concern internally, they can raise their concerns with external bodies:
- National Freedom to Speak Up Guardians Office for advice and guidance
- NHS Improvement
- Care Quality Commission for quality and safety concerns
- NHS England for concerns about; primary medical services, primary dental services, primary ophthalmic services or local pharmaceutical services.
- Health Education England for education and training in the NHS
- NHS Protect for concerns about fraud and corruption.
- Trade Unions and Professional Regulators