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OUH shortlisted for the HSJ Awards 2022

This article is more than one year old.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) is in the running for a prestigious HSJ Award after being named as a finalist for the Freedom to Speak Up Award.

Efforts led by the OUH Freedom to Speak Up Interim Lead Guardian and a small, dynamic team, aimed at helping staff feel safe and confident to speak up about concerns, have been recognised for enhancing staff engagement and implementing improvements following a review of the Freedom to Speak Up (FtSU) service at OUH.

A month-long series of online Listening Events, Focus Groups, and a trust-wide survey held in the summer of 2021 gave all OUH staff the opportunity to have their say on what would most effectively enable them to speak up about a concern.

With the support of the OUH Board, improvements are being implemented to ensure that all staff can easily access advice and support if they have a concern relating to something that affects not only them, and which may adversely impact patient care or working life. 

In alignment with the Trust’s Engagement Promise, the Lead Guardian will head up a strengthened FtSU team, including a network of Local Guardians embedded within the clinical divisions and volunteer FtSU Champions across different sites, to help staff feel safe and confident to speak up, as an essential part of promoting a compassionate and inclusive culture throughout the Trust.

The nomination celebrates how the promotion of a healthy speaking up culture can make an outstanding contribution to healthcare, earning the opportunity to showcase OUH’s ongoing achievements on a national platform.

Taffy Makaya, Interim FtSU Lead Guardian at OUH, said: “Being shortlisted for the Freedom to Speak Up Award at the HSJ Awards 2022 is excellent recognition of my hardworking and deserving colleagues in the small FtSU team, and of the contribution made by colleagues with whom we collaborate across the Trust.

“Our staff always go above and beyond to improve staff and therefore patient outcomes and quality of service and care – and aligning with the HSJ Awards programme really allows us to share our success as well as everything we’ve learnt through our project.”

She added: “We aim to create an open and transparent culture across the Trust so that every member of staff feels able to speak up about concerns they have within the workplace. This ensures the best and safest care for all our patients, achieved by learning from and sharing outcomes from concerns raised.

“Thank you in particular to my colleagues in the FtSU team who have helped deliver a service and supporting culture that meets staff needs. I am very proud to be part of such an amazing team.”

The FtSU team had contact with more than 2,000 members of staff during 2021/22, and formally supported 116 colleagues. At a little below the average for a Trust the size of OUH, this is regarded as a sign of a healthy freedom to speak up culture.

Terry Roberts, Joint Chief People Officer at OUH, said: “Huge congratulations to the FtSU team on securing this nomination – we have our fingers crossed for the awards ceremony in November.

“As evidenced by the review, FtSU staff are very approachable and dedicated, and provide support when needed. The profile of our FtSU Guardians has enhanced significantly and we are proud of this HSJ recognition and achievement.”

Alastair McLellan, HSJ Editor, said: “On behalf of all my colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Oxford University Hospitals on being shortlisted as a finalist in the category of Freedom to Speak Up Award. All of the applications represent the ‘very best of the NHS’ and often leave our esteemed panel of judges with an impossible choice.”

The full list of nominees for the HSJ Awards 2022 can be found on the HSJ website.

Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at the Battersea Evolution Centre in London on Thursday 17 November 2022.

Pictured: OUH's Terry Roberts, Joint Chief People Officer, and Taffy Makaya, Interim FtSU Lead Guardian