Speaking up

A. Your policies and processes

74. Many businesses will already have appropriate policies, which may use different terminology but is essentially about speaking up, and it may be useful to look at the five-step model of a good speaking up process[9] when developing or reviewing them. This model highlights that, as well as having an appropriate and clear process for speaking up and acting on concerns, it is important to break down barriers to speaking up, normalise the process of speaking up, be receptive to feedback, and reflect on concerns raised to prevent reoccurrence (where possible).

75. Providing multiple channels or opportunities for staff to provide feedback or speak up can lead to improvement, build trust, make it less intimidating for staff to speak up and therefore improve your ability to put safety issues right at an early stage. Avoiding potentially expensive and distressing outcomes by spotting and dealing with problems promptly makes good business sense.

[9] Set out by Sir Robert Francis QC in his ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ report, in response to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust inquiry.