Published on: 28 July 2020


Pictured: Staff Guardian Jane Butcher and Nicola Canty

Staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) are the most confident when it comes to speaking up freely about issues and concerns, according to a recent report.  

The latest annual National Guardian Freedom to Speak up Index has been released and this shows that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is the best performing trust within the Lancashire and South Cumbria area. The Trust’s increased score of 81.9% also ranks it as the overall highest performing Acute Trust in the Northwest. 

Staff Guardian at ELHT, Jane Butcher said: 

“This is absolutely fantastic news and demonstrates how important it is to the Trust that staff can speak up, and be listened to, about their concerns.  

“We want staff to feel supported at work and, ultimately ensure that we are providing excellent care to our patients and their families. These latest figures demonstrate that the culture of Speaking Up safely has become truly embedded within the organisation.  

The role of Staff Guardian was implemented to ensure staff who speak up are treated fairly throughout any investigation, inquiry and/or review; and that there is effective and open communication during this time. Staff can, and are encouraged to, raise concerns regarding anything at work that is troubling them.  

The Staff Guardian and team works independently of ELHT and ensures that all concerns raised are dealt with in a confidential, open, responsible and professional manner. 

Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: 

“I am extremely delighted with the results from the latest Freedom to Speak Up Index. I feel extremely passionate about staff having the freedom to Speak Up without fear of repercussions, and knowing that their concerns are taken seriously.  

“Jane was appointed as Staff Guardian in May 2017 and we appointed Nicola Canty as Deputy Staff Guardian in August 2019. They work separately to the Trust to ensure they remain neutral but are also a vital asset to the ELHT team. We are so proud of the culture that has been developed and will continue to build on this excellent work.”