Guidance for Boards on Freedom to Speak Up

We worked in partnership with NHS Improvement to co-produce a board guidance document. Although this is directed towards NHS trusts, the principles contained within it can be applied to any leadership team in any setting.

It sets out expectations and individual responsibilities including about behaviours that promote speaking up from workers. It describes practical measures that can be taken to develop a Freedom to Speak Up strategy. It encourages continual reflection about speaking up arrangements and how they can be improved. It stipulates support for the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian in terms of sufficient time and resources to do the job well and the appointment of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians a fair and open way to manage concerns around independence and conflicts.

Guidance for Boards

Self-Review Tool for NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts

Completing this self-review tool and developing an improvement action plan will help trusts to reflect on their current speaking up culture as part of their overall strategy and create a coherent narrative for their patients, workforce and oversight bodies. Leading this work with input from your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian will ensure effective representation from different perspectives.

Self-Review Tool

Supplementary information on Freedom to Speak Up

This supplementary information accompanies the Guidance for boards on Freedom to Speak Up  and the Freedom to Speak Up review tool

Supplementary information on Freedom to Speak Up

National Guidelines on Speaking Up Training in the Health Sector in England

These guidelines are designed to improve the quality, clarity and consistency of training on speaking up across the health sector to support those commissioning and delivering training. They include guidance and learning objectives for training all workers, managers and senior leaders.

National Guidelines on Speaking Up Training

Freedom to Speak Up Policy Review Framework

This framework is intended to act as a useful tool for reviewing your organisation’s speaking up policy.

NHS England/Improvement are currently developing a revised version of the National Integrated Policy, expected to be adopted as a minimum standard by all NHS trusts.

Policy Review Framework

Settlement agreements: a factsheet for employers and workers about speaking up

This factsheet is designed to help employers and workers understand their rights when entering into a settlement agreement. It includes key information around the use of confidentiality clauses and reassures employers and workers who may wish to speak up to ensure high quality safe care is maintained.

It should be read in conjunction with NHS Employers’ guidance on the use of settlement agreements and confidentiality clauses, which has also been updated.

It was developed following a roundtable led by NHS Employers and the National Guardian’s Office, as well as six law firms who provide legal services to the NHS: Bevan Brittan, Capsticks, DAC Beachcroft, Hempsons, Mills & Reeve and Ward Hadaway. It has also subsequently been reviewed by Unison.

Settlement agreements

Exploring Freedom to Speak Up in Primary Care and Integrated Settings

This report looks at the challenges in implementing Freedom to Speak Up in primary care, as well common themes and learning.

We’ve identified two types of model to support primary care organisations in developing their speaking up arrangements:

  1. Freedom to Speak Up within an organisation – an individual organisation model – such as a GP practice or Dental surgery; or a Clinical Commissioning Group
  2. Freedom to Speak Up within a network or defined structure – a partnership model – for example Primary Care Network or alliance between opticians; a local support model – eg practices supported by their local committee, CCG or NHS Trust; or an Integrated Care System Model.
Exploring Freedom to Speak Up in Primary Care and Integrated Settings