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October is Speak Up Month

October marks Freedom to Speak Up Month, this year the theme is 'Speak Up - Listen Up - Follow Up'. 

All colleagues have an important part to play in making speaking up business as usual. Make your pledge this month and share it on social media using #SpeakUpListenUpFollowUp and don't forget to tag us too! (@ROHNHSFT)

The Trust recently appointed a new Freedom To Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian – Claudette Jones. Claudette, who took up the role on 1 September, is a Senior Clinical Research Nurse at ROH and is also the Chair of the Equality & Diversity Staff Network. Alongside Claudette’s appointment to the guardian role, a number of staff will become FTSU Champions. These will work alongside the guardian and be a point of contact for individuals who require advice, to inform them of the options available, whether informal or formal and to direct individuals to the support available.

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(Above) Claudette Jones

The purpose of the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian is to provide an alternative route to normal channels that people will use for speaking up. They are also there to work within their trust to identify and tackle barriers to speaking up, such as issues of bullying culture, poor levels of awareness and processes that place an undue burden on individuals when they raise issues.

It is a role supported by the National Guardian’s Office, an independent, non-statutory body that is leading culture change in the NHS so that speaking up becomes business as usual. The office is funded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS England and NHS Improvement and was established as a key recommendation from Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up Review which looked at failings in care delivered at the Mid-Staffordshire Trust.

There are currently over 720 individuals acting as a FTSUG or supporting their FTSUG locally.
Claudette said: “I am very excited to be taking on this role. My main reason for wanting to be a Freedom To Speak Up Guardian was to contribute to continue improving the experience of people working in the NHS.”
She said her plans include working closely with all trust leaders to support a culture of speaking up within the hospital. “I want to ensure speaking up is embedded within our organisation.”

The FTSUG role sits within Corporate Affairs and Simon Grainger-Lloyd, Director of Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, said: “I am delighted that Claudette has been appointed as the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian. The ROH already has a positive culture in which staff feel that they can speak up freely and with Claudette’s passion and commitment to her colleagues, I look forward to seeing this positive and supportive climate for staff further enhanced.”

The National Guardian Office are holding a series of virtual events and e-learning resources that are available to all staff this month.