The appointment of a Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian is a requirement of the NHS Standard Contract in England. The National Guardian’s Office (NGO) provides leadership, support and guidance to FTSU Guardians.
Guidance on recording data was originally issued in January 2017 and guardians in trusts and foundation trusts have been asked to provide quarterly reports on the number of cases they have received since April 2017. These quarterly reports have been published on the NGO’s webpages.
This end of year report represents a summary and analysis of the second year’s return and compares across the two years for which data is available.
- Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2019, 19,331 cases were raised to FTSU Guardians in trusts and foundation trusts.
- 12,244 cases were raised to FTSU Guardians in trusts and foundation trusts between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.
- The total number of cases raised in 2018/19 was 73% higher than that raised in the 2017/18 reporting period.
- The number of cases raised in Q4 of 2018/19 was 38% higher than that raised in Q1 of the same year.
- The average number of cases per trust was largest among combined acute and community trusts (an average of 75 cases per trust reported over the year). This is the same trend as was observed in 2017/18.
- More cases (3,728, 30% of the total) were raised by nurses than other professional groups.
- 1,491 cases (12%) were raised anonymously, compared to 18% of cases the previous year.
- 3,523 cases (29%) included an element of patient safety / quality.
- 4,969 cases (41%) included an element of bullying / harassment.
- 564 cases (5%) indicated that detriment as a result of speaking up may have been experienced
- The highest number of cases in a single trust reported over the year was 270. The lowest number of cases reported was 1.