Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has won the Freedom to Speak Up Organisation of the Year at the 2021 HSJ Awards.

Kirsty Dickson, Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, collected the award from Sir Robert Francis at the ceremony in London on Thursday 18 November.

The submission, titled ‘Freedom to Speak Up – The Northumbria Way’, demonstrated how speaking up has been embedded across the organisation.

The judging panel said, “The judges felt that a mature and thoroughly embedded approach to speaking up was demonstrated. The passion and hard work of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian shone through and was brought together with well-established processes, networks, and support that enabled the organisation to demonstrate that speaking up is at the heart of everything it does. This entry demonstrated warmth, an understanding of its people and real purpose behind all of its speaking up activity.”

There were nine finalists this year and they presented to a judging panel in a bid to win the award. All finalists demonstrated good practice, but Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were highly commended by the panel.