The National Guardian’s Office, in association with Health Education England, has launched the second module of its new e-learning package for managers at all levels to give them the tools to foster a speaking up culture in their teams.

The Freedom to Speak Up training – ‘Speak Up, Listen Up, Follow Up’ – is for anyone who works in healthcare. Divided into three modules, it helps learners understand the vital role they can play in a healthy speaking up culture which protects patient safety and enhances worker experience.

The latest session – Listen Up – for managers at all levels, focuses on listening and understanding the barriers to speaking up.

Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE, National Guardian for the NHS, said: “Speaking up begins with a conversation, usually with your line manager. How your manager reacts has a tremendous impact on the perception of whether speaking up is welcomed.  Managers play a vital role in fostering a speak up culture and the psychological safety of workers.  That is why it is essential that they have the tools so they can effectively listen and respond, especially in these current challenging circumstances.”

Importantly, this free e-learning package is available to anybody, no matter where they work in health. Access is via Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcare

Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive, HEE said: “I am delighted that we are launching this second module in the Freedom to Speak Up programme, giving managers the tools to listen more effectively when people speak up.

“As a leader, Freedom to Speak Up is vital not only in ensuring that staff feel safe to speak up about issues affecting them, but also in helping me to better understand what those issues are so that we can address them, make HEE a better place to work for everyone, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for the people we serve.”

The Listen Up module includes the following topics:

  • Fostering a speak up, listen up culture
  • Supporting speaking up and listening well
  • Perceptions of yourself and others and understanding conflicts of interest
  • Welcoming feedback as a gift

Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE said: “We know from our surveys of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, that only 45 per cent of respondents believe that managers support people to speak up. Managers themselves can feel unsupported and unsure of how to handle matters appropriately.  This training aims to offer them that support and help foster a positive speaking up culture which ultimately leads to better care for patients.”

This e-learning module is the second of three sessions for organisations to build upon their speaking up culture. The first module – Speak Up – available for all workers, no matter what their contract terms, was launched in October and has already been completed by 800 learners.  A final module, Follow Up, for senior leaders – including executive and Non-Executive Directors, lay members and governors – will be launched later this year.

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