Every NHS organisation has a Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian. They are an appointed individual who works independently and has a key role in helping to enable a positive speaking up culture in their organisation. They can provide confidential advice and support to staff in relation to concerns they have about patient safety and/or the way their concern has been handled.

What does their role of the FTSU Guardian involve?


  • Protect patient safety and the quality of care
  • Improve the raising concerns experience of staff 
  • Promote learning and improvement

By ensuring that: 

  • Workers are supported in speaking up 
  • Barriers to speaking up are addressed 
  • A positive culture of speaking up is fostered 
  • Issues are raised as opportunities for learning and improvement.

Guardians don't get involved in investigations or complaints, nor do they act on behalf of staff (or the organisation), but they do help to facilitate the ‘speaking up’ process where needed, ensuring organisational policies are followed correctly.

The Trust’s FTSU Guardian is available 8am-4pm from Monday-Friday, however they can meet with colleagues outside of these hours if arranged in advance. 

The Guardian is also supported by a group of FTSU Champions at each of our hospital sites, who are available to listen to staff and help them to resolve issues.

Where can I find out more information?

You can find out more about Freedom to Speak Up on the National Guardians Office website here.