Freedom to Speak Up: Guidance for NHS trust and NHS foundation trust boards

Our revised expectations of boards and board members in relation to Freedom to Speak Up plus supplementary resources and a self-review tool.

Effective speaking up arrangements protect patients and improve the experience of NHS workers. Our guide contributes to the need, set out by Sir Robert Francis in his Freedom to Speak Up review, to develop a more open and supportive culture that encourages staff to speak up about any issues of patient care, quality or safety.

The importance of workers having the freedom to speak up and the role that executive directors play in this has been recently reaffirmed in the review of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trustthe Kark Report and the NHS People Plan.

Thank you to everyone who worked with us to improve the first draft. Your feedback was very helpful and as a result this iteration is more concise and contains some practical ‘how to’ information that some of you will find helpful.

We want all trust boards in England to use the self-review tool to identify areas for development and improve the effectiveness of their leadership and governance arrangements in relation to Freedom to Speak Up.

Freedom to Speak Up guidance

Freedom to Speak Up supplementary information

Freedom to Speak Up self-review tool

The self-review tool supports the standards laid out in the guidance. It supports trusts’ review around the eight key lines of enquiry set out in the well-led framework.