Speak-Up month: Being a force for positive change

Date published:

With the annual Speak-Up Month just behind us, we wanted to shine a spotlight on what speaking up means in a non-provider organisation.

Unlike our members and beneficiaries, we don’t provide direct patient care so the issues raised through our four Speak-Up Guardians are very different to those that Guardians deal with in hospitals and other provider organisations. That said, the role our Guardians play is just as important but in a different way. Interactions among our staff and with the external people we do business with can sometimes fall below expected standards. This is where intelligence from Guardians is used to help us improve. (One of our Guardians, Lorraine Hutchings is pictured with this article)

Organisationally it’s important we role model the advice and guidance we put out into the healthcare system.  Working with our Senior Management Team and one of our Non-Executive Board members, our Guardians actively promote an everyday culture of compassion and kindness when things go wrong. On the rare occasions where our values are not met, our Guardians help staff be brave in speaking out and to challenge poor behaviours. Another crucial role they play is to ensure actions are taken as a result of Speak-Up conversations, holding the organisation to account so the learnings are used to improve.

This was neatly summed up by Dame Lesley Regan, our Non–Executive Board member with Freedom To Speak-Up responsibilities, who pledged during Speak-up Month ‘I am committed to ensuring that the organisation investigates all concerns, making sure that all of our staff appreciate that we will take the actions needed to improve the working lives of everyone.’

By speaking up and listening well, we can create safer, kinder, more inclusive workplaces.

If you’re interested in understanding more about speaking up, there are some resources you might find useful: