Freedom to Speak Up

Our staff are encouraged to ‘speak up’ to improve the quality and safety of patient care and staff wellbeing.

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 our staff feel able to speak up to stop potential harm.

Even when things are good, but could be even better, our staff should feel able to say something and be confident that their suggestion will be used as an opportunity for improvement.

Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) is for anyone who works or volunteers in the health sector and is a clear and simple process for staff to be able to raise their concerns, all of which will be acted upon, without fear of detriment for speaking up.

How do our staff speak up?

There are a range of processes available in the Trust to support staff who wish to raise work-related concerns, including their immediate supervisor or a more senior manager in the department, and HR processes including those relating to dignity and respect and issue resolution. Trade union representatives are also available to support staff in raising issues or concerns.

We encourage staff to raise issues or concerns first via their line manager or supervisor.

If they cannot be resolved via any of these channels, or if staff are not comfortable using this approach, the FTSU process can be accessed.

The Trust's FTSU Guardian, Luzani Moyo, is supported by a team of FTSU advocates who cover different areas across the Trust.

Freedom to Speak Up - the history

The National Guardian’s Office and the role of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian were created in response to recommendations made in Sir Robert Francis QC’s report “The Freedom to Speak Up” (2015).

These recommendations were made as Sir Robert found that NHS culture did not always encourage or support workers to speak up, and that patients and workers suffered as a result.

The office leads, trains and supports a network of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in England and conducts speaking up reviews to identify learning and support improvement of the speaking up culture of the healthcare sector.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is committed to embedding an open and transparent culture; one in which staff members and volunteers feel empowered to raise concerns, with confidence that these concerns will be acted upon and without fear of detriment for speaking up.

We aim to work with our staff members, patients and volunteers to:

  • create a culture where all staff feel safe to raise concerns
  • enable our leaders to be responsive to concerns and act on these promptly
  • celebrate concerns raised and share the learning to improve patient safety.