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Celebrating Freedom to Speak Up month

05 Oct 23

October is Speak Up Month and an opportunity to raise awareness of how speaking up is valued at HPFT. Freedom to Speak Up is fundamental to how the Trust works and it wants to be part of making speaking up business as usual across healthcare.

The theme for Speak Up Month 2023 is “Breaking Barriers” which focuses on removing the obstacles which people feel stop them from speaking up.

HPFT launched Speak Up month across the Trust with a Freedom to Speak Up Event. Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark, National Freedom to Speak Up Guardian attended and spoke about the importance of removing the obstacles which people feel stop them from speaking up. She explained that only by understanding and raising awareness of what these barriers are, can we then start to address them. Breaking these barriers is essential, not just for our culture at work, but for people who use our services.

HPFT also welcomed Stella Williams, a specialist in the regulatory leadership team at the CQC, who spoke about the importance of a culture that embraces continuous learning and acts upon the voices of staff, as referenced in the CQC’s well-led domain.

Other speakers included Loucia Kyprianou, the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Regulation Adviser; Tony Durcan, Senior Officer for Hertfordshire and Essex’s branch of the Royal College of Nursing; and HPFT’s Executive Director, Quality & Safety (Chief Nurse) Jacky Vincent and Chief People Officer, Jo Humphries.

Attendees took part in a variety of workshops, including a Schwartz round (a group reflective practice forum giving staff an opportunity to reflect on the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare), Speaking Up Confidently and a Continuous Quality Improvement session, giving staff an opportunity to share their ideas to strengthen the Speak Up culture at the Trust.

The event culminated with participants making personal pledges to support the speak up culture.

Yusuf Aumeerally, HPFT’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, said:

“It has been great to have these discussions today and to show how powerful open, candid conversations can be. I will never underestimate the power of people speaking up and we want this to become our ‘business as usual’ - with everyone feeling safe and confident to speak up.”


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