Applications sought for new NHS national guardian role

The Care Quality Commission has advertised for its first NHS national guardian who will support local ambassadors to help staff raise concerns

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking to appoint its first NHS national guardian who will support local ambassadors to help staff to speak up when they have concerns.

The national guardian, a role recommended by Sir Robert Francis in his Freedom to Speak Up review, will lead, advise and support 'freedom to speak up guardians' based at every trust.

Sir Robert's review into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS, which took evidence from more than 19,000 people, found that staff who spoke out were often bullied, and others were deterred from whistleblowing because they 'feared victimisation'.

Sir Robert said: 'NHS staff want to do their best for their patients and when things go wrong they should be able to raise their concerns without fear of reprisals. The creation of freedom to speak up guardians and a national officer in the CQC will help to drive a culture of openness and transparency where it is safe to speak up and concerns are learnt from.'

Chief executive of the Care Quality Commission David Behan said: 'The national guardian, with the support of local freedom to speak up guardians, will contribute to the changing culture that is needed to ensure that good practice exists everywhere, and that staff are encouraged to speak up and are supported to do it.'

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