Freedom to Speak Up at AECC University College

Back Clinical Insight - - 1 minute read.
Integrated Rehabilitation Centre on Garnet Campus

As part of our commitment to really improving care across our site, we are excited to be establishing Freedom to Speak Up. This involves having a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, responsible for helping to maintain safety in the clinical environment.

AECC University College has a small planned care model, comprising of a number of health professionals providing support for a range of
patients within an educational setting.

We are very small as compared to big NHS or private hospitals, but whether it’s one clinician, one patient or thousands, Freedom to Speak Up is a core provision for us here at AECC University College.

The main message of Freedom to Speak Up is simply: it’s ok to speak out. Nobody should be shamed for speaking out, for highlighting an
irregularity, or for pointing out something that doesn’t sit right with them.

It might be flagging that a workload is too high and that is putting patients at risk; it might be admin staff who are overstretched and not able to give patients the correct information.

If a patient is being put at risk for any reason, we want to know about it and we want to share that across our teams. It’s fundamentally about improving patient safety.

As clinicians, we are all here for the good of the patient and ensuring we raise concerns is a vital part of good practice, as being conscious of risk allows for mitigation of that risk.

Therefore, irrespective of how small a service is, and ours is a good example, we must fully invest in this. We are thankful for our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and the work they do.

About Freedom to Speak Up

There are over 1,000 Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in the NHS and independent sector organisations, national bodies and elsewhere,
and we are proud to be part of this community.

Freedom to Speak Up is a large, national, legislated network where each Guardian is put through rigorous training and works alongside
an established mentor.

The aim being that the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian is a confidential and impartial member of the team who offers space for issues of patient safety and working environment to be raised if they haven’t been able to be resolved through the normal channels.

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