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National Guardian's Office

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The National Guardian provides leadership and advice for Freedom to Speak Up Guardians based in NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts on best practice to enable staff to speak up safely.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians work with trust leadership teams to create a culture where staff are able to speak up in order to protect patient safety and empower workers.

The role of the National Guardian and Freedom to Speak Up Guardians have been created as a result of recommendations from Sir Robert Francis' Freedom to Speak Up review, published in February 2015.

Dr Henrietta Hughes was appointed as the National Guardian for the NHS in October 2016. Dr Hughes is a practising GP with over 20 years of experience across primary, secondary and community healthcare. She was previously the Medical Director for NHS England's North Central and East London region, providing system leadership across 12 clinical commissioning groups and 12 NHS trusts.

The National Guardian's Office provides advice on the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role and supports the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian network.

The office will also exercise its discretion to review cases referred to it where there is evidence that a NHS service has not responded appropriately to the safety concerns raised by its workers.


Last updated:
29 May 2017


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