Our partner organisation South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has ranked in the top 10 NHS trusts in the country for having an excellent speaking up culture.

SWFT, which in December 2019 was awarded ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), prides itself on providing first class care by creating a safe environment for staff to develop and learn, to raise concerns and implement changes.

Working with NHS England, the National Guardian’s Office uses four questions from the national survey to create a ‘Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Index’. These questions address whether staff feel knowledgeable, secure and encouraged to speak up and whether they would be treated fairly after an incident. The FTSU Index results released on Thursday 9 July 2020 placed SWFT as one of the best healthcare trusts nationally for staff responses to these questions.

Both the FTSU Guardian and Speak Up and Wellbeing Ambassadors play a fundamental role in SWFT achieving an excellent speaking up culture. These members of staff work with colleagues from the Executive Team, HR, Trade Unions, and Organisational Development to ensure that any speaking up leads to lessons learnt and improvements made.

The national average FTSU Index score was 78.7% with SWFT scoring 84.3%. The Trust, which observed a significant 2.7% gain from the previous year, also saw two major theme improvements in their latest NHS Staff Survey results. The survey, carried out in November 2019, highlights the pivotal role the FTSU Guardian, Speak Up and Wellbeing Ambassadors and the senior leaders play in embedding organisational changes. The two noteworthy findings were:

SWFT scored as one of the highest organisations for providing a safe environment against violence, 9.7/10, and bullying and harassment, 8.6/10.

The Trust also scored 7.1/10 in the safety culture theme with staff stating that compared to previous years they receive more feedback, feel safer raising concerns and feel confident that these concerns would be addressed with the appropriate changes made. The national average for this theme was 6.8.

Ann Pope, Director of HR, said: “As an organisation we understand the significant link between an excellent speak up culture and a happy and successful workforce. It is encouraging to see our organisation rank highly in this index.

“At SWFT we are constantly looking for new ways to improve staff and patient experience. We will continue to encourage all employees to reflect on the speak up culture within their own teams, to help us further increase speaking up activity within the Trust and to ensure we continue to provide ‘outstanding’ care to our community.”

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