Speaking up is about anything that gets in the way of providing good care. 

There may be many channels for speaking up within your organisation, including your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

Find out more about who you should speak up to below.

Who should I speak up to?

Speaking up internally

Usually your line manager will be your first point of call, but if you don’t feel you can speak up to them or use other formal routes, then you may wish to contact your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. You can find their contact details here.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians should be able to support you to speak up and ensure that your organisation provides a response to the matters you raise. Even if you are no longer employed by the organisation, you should still be able to speak up to your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians support workers to speak up when they feel that they are unable to do so by other routes. They ensure that people who speak up are thanked, that the issues they raise are responded to, and make sure that the person speaking up receives feedback on the actions taken.

If you do not feel that the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian is an appropriate person to speak to, you should be able to contact other people with responsibility for Freedom to Speak Up at your organisation. Your organisation’s Speaking Up policy should tell you who they are.

Speaking up to regulators

If you do not feel that any internal speaking up avenue is appropriate, you can speak up externally, to a regulator such as CQC or NHS England.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak about the conduct of a member of staff, you can do this by contacting the relevant professional body such as the General Medical CouncilNursing and Midwifery Council or the Health & Care Professions Council.

Other sources of speak up support

You may also find it helpful to contact organisations  who may be able to offer support.

Speak Up Direct provide free, independent, confidential advice on the speaking up process.

The charity Protect provide confidential and legal advice on speaking up.

The Trades Union Congress provide information on how to join a trade union.

The Law Society may be able to point you to other sources of advice and support.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service give advice and assistance, including early conciliation regarding employment disputes.

Speaking up to the NGO

If you wish to speak up to the National Guardian’s Office directly, we will help you find the best way to support you in speaking up.

The National Guardian’s Office is not a regulatory or investigatory body and we are not able to investigate individual concerns or provide remedies.

Wellbeing support

Speaking up can be a difficult and distressing thing to do. After speaking up, you may wish to take some time to talk to family or friends. If you feel you need more support with your wellbeing or mental health, you can contact your GP.

Many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes offering free, confidential support and advice for workers. The following organisations also offer support:

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