|We should reward those who speak up and reprimand those that ‘hide’ issues|
CQC have announced the appointment of Dame Eileen Sills, the Chief Nurse at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, as the first National Guardian for speaking up safely in the NHS. As the National Guardian, she will help to lead a cultural change, initially within NHS trusts & NHS foundation trusts, so that healthcare staff always feel confident & supported to raise concerns about patient care.
The need for an independent National Guardian for the NHS was highlighted in Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up review in February 2015, which found that patients could be put at risk of harm because vital information about mistakes & concerns was not being raised by NHS staff routinely. As part of her role, Dame Eileen will lead, advise & support a network of individuals within NHS trusts, appointed as ‘local freedom to speak up guardians’, who will be responsible for developing a culture of openness at trust level. She will also share good practice, report on national or common themes and identify any barriers that are preventing the NHS from having a truly safe & open culture.