2nd February 2016

Trust’s first “Speak Up Guardian” appointed

Ruth Agg has been appointed to be the Trust’s first “Speak Up Guardian”. She will be an independent person for staff to talk to and raise concerns about their working life including any concerns about bullying and harassment. This new role is an independent post within the trust reporting to the Chief Executive and Chair.

Ruth Agg, Speak Up Guardian

Ruth Agg, Speak Up Guardian

A key recommendation from Sir Robert Francis’s report into the culture of raising concerns within the NHS, published in February 2015, was the introduction of Speak Up Guardians with responsibility for ensuring staff feel confident in raising concerns.

Ruth Agg said: “My ambition is to help establish an open and honest culture where all staff feel comfortable about putting their hand up to raise concerns and issues, no matter how big or small. It is essential that all matters raised are taken seriously and listened to, and never brushed aside. Nobody knows this Trust like the staff and I am confident that we can improve the quality of the care we provide and the experience of patients if we listen to what they say and, where appropriate, take action.”

Richard Sunley Acting Chief Executive said: “The Speak Up Guardian post is one that I am personally hugely committed to because it is imperative that we listen and engage with staff, and act on what they tell us. Ruth’s experience as a clinician within the Trust puts her in an ideal position for this role and it will be a good basis on which to build. She has the full support of the Trust’s board of directors in this vital new role.”

Jan Humber Chair of Joint Staff Committee said: “We are pleased the Trust has appointed a Speak Up Guardian. In addition to the formal routes, this role gives our staff an independent person to talk to if they have concerns about any poor practice, attitudes or inappropriate behaviour within our organisation. The voice of frontline staff will be heard at a senior level.”