Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

Freedom to Speak Up

One of the key recommendations of the 2013 Francis Inquiry into failings of care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was that every Trust should have a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian to help create a more open and honest reporting culture in the health service.

At Western Sussex, patient safety is our top priority.

This means we encourage any staff member who has a genuine patient safety concern to raise this within the organisation at the earliest opportunity.

In order to ensure our high standards continue to be met, we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns with their line manager, another member of the management team or one of our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

We want everyone in the organisation to feel able to highlight wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and be confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way.

We promise that where staff identify a genuine patient safety concern, we shall not treat them with prejudice and they will not suffer any detriment to their career. Instead, we will support them, fully investigate and, if appropriate, act on their concern.

We will also give them feedback about how we have responded to the issue they have raised, as soon as possible.

It is not disloyal to colleagues to raise concerns; it is a duty to our patients.

Misconduct or malpractice should never be tolerated, while mistakes and poor practice may reveal a colleague needs more training or support, or that we need to change systems or processes.

We want our staff to know that their concerns will be dealt with in an open and supportive manner because we rely on them to ensure we deliver a safe service and ensure patient safety is not put at risk.

We also want this organisation to have the confidence to admit to mistakes and to use them as learning opportunities.

Our message is: whether you are a permanent employee, an agency or temporary staff member, or a volunteer, please speak up when you feel something is wrong. 

Our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians

Wherever possible, we encourage staff to raise any concerns they have with their manager. 

If this is not appropriate, then one of our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians can help them raise their concern in another way.

Our Guardians are Delia Reed, our customer care and culture change advisor, and Shelton Bates, who is the manager of our Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, Donald Wilson House and The Munro Unit.

Delia and Shelton are both passionate about patient safety and our commitment to the Trust’s Patient First programme.

Western Sussex Hospitals staff can contact them by phone or email:

All enquires will be treated in confidence.

The Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Policy, which is available to download below, includes a flow chart advising staff on the process to follow in raising a concern.





    Was this information helpful? YesNo

    How can we make this page better: