Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 24 August 2023

Here at Dorset County Hospital it is important that our staff feel listened to, valued and are making a valuable contribution to the Trust. 

When things go wrong, we need to make sure that lessons are learnt, and things are improved.

If we think something might go wrong, it’s important that we all feel able to speak up to stop potential harm.

Even when things are good, but could be even better, we should feel able to say something and be confident that our suggestion will be used as an opportunity for improvement.

There are various channels for speaking up, including contacting our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

About Speaking Up

Anyone can speak up
Freedom to Speak Up is for anyone who works in health. This includes any healthcare professionals, non-clinical workers, senior, middle and junior managers, volunteers, students, locum, bank and agency workers, and former employees.

What can I speak up about?
You can speak up about anything that gets in the way of patient care, or that affects your working life.

That could be something which doesn’t feel right, for example a way of working or a process which isn’t being followed, or behaviours of others which you feel is having an impact on the wellbeing of you, the people you work with, or patients.

Speaking up is about all of these things.

How do I speak up?
Speaking up may take many forms. It could be a quick discussion with a line manager, a suggestion for improvement submitted as part of a staff suggestion scheme, raising a matter with our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, or bringing an issue to the attention of a regulator.

You can speak up anonymously, confidentially, or openly.

Speaking up has no limitations – it is about anything which gets in the way of patient care and worker wellbeing.

The terms ‘whistleblowing’ and ‘speaking up’ are often used interchangeably. They can cover raising matters about a wide range of legal and ethical issues.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

The Freedom to Speak Up Guardian acts as an independent and impartial source of advice to staff at any stage of raising a concern, with access to anyone in the organisation, including the chief executive, or if necessary, outside the organisation.

Your conversations with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and/or Champions are confidential. The only exception to this is if there is immediate risk to the safety of you, a colleague, or patient; or if you consent to us sharing information.

Your Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at Dorset County Hospital is Lynn Paterson. You can contact Lynn via FTSU@dchft.nhs.uk or alternatively staff can use the Datix incident reporting system (for anonymous concerns type anon when prompted instead of your name).

Lynn is supported by a team of Freedom to Speak Up Champions

Our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Lynn Paterson
Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Lynn Paterson

The role of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and Champions is to: 

  • Work with the Board to create an open culture – listening and learning, not blaming
  • Develop ways to encourage staff to speak up
  • Work entirely independently of the executive team
  • Review the governance and practice of raising concerns at the Trust 
  • Share learning with the wider Trust to develop a positive culture 
  • Make sure that there are no repercussions to a staff member who chooses to speak up