Freedom to speak up thumbnail.pngWhat is​​​​​​​ speaking up 

Speaking up is about anything that gets in the way offreedom to speak up logo providing good care.

When things go wrong, we need to make sure that lessons are learnt and things are improved. If we think something might go wrong, it’s important that we all feel able to speak up so that potential harm is prevented.

Even when things are good, but could be even better, we should feel able to say something and should expect that our suggestion is listened to and used as an opportunity for improvement. Speaking up is about all of these things

When you raise an issue with a Freedom To Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian, it may be that you’re not clear how best to pursue it, or even whether you’ve come to the right place, so we’ll take some time to clarify your issue with you and then help you decide.

For example, it may be that you then want to speak to your manager, a colleague, Trades Union Representative or Human Resources yourself or you may want support from FTSU for the issue to be raised. You can raise issues with us in confidence if you’d like or even anonymously, although that may make it more difficult if we need more information or need to feed back to you. MCT also wants to support and protect you If you raise an issue, to make sure that you don’t suffer detriment for speaking up.

FTSUG’s aim to amicably resolve issues at the lowest practical level, and this happens in most cases however, in some cases were appropriate, FTSU may commission a review to look at bigger problems and solutions.

Each FTSUG also raises the live issues within their areas regularly (within the bounds of confidentiality) with senior managers and senior FTSUG links for that area, particularly were an issue is proving difficult or slow to resolve. Although FTSUG’s cover each other when required, we have our own “patch” too so that we can see developing issues or themes and can then liaise with the relevant people.

Where issues get stuck, FTSU has an agreed escalation route right up to the nominated non-executive director for FTSU, to ensure the appropriate level of support.

Although there is currently no legal definition, “whistleblowing” has come to be accepted as the disclosure by an employee of confidential information which relates to some danger, fraud or other illegal or unethical conduct connected with the workplace, be it of the employer or of his / her fellow employees, but workers can speak up about anything that gets in the way of high-quality effective care, or that affects their working life.

There are many channels for speaking up in Mersey Care, about anything that gets in the way of delivering safe and high-quality care or affects your experience in the workplace. “Speaking Up” is something that should happen as ‘business as usual’.

Speaking up may take many forms including a quick discussion with a line manager, a suggestion for improvement submitted as part of a staff suggestion scheme, raising an issue with a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, or bringing a matter to the attention of a regulator.

Some people may interpret all or some of these actions as ‘whistleblowing’, others may only associate ‘whistleblowing’ with something that is ‘formal’, or a matter that is escalated outside an organisation, or to describe something that may qualify for ‘protection’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. Speaking up is about all of these things.

Speaking Up policies and processes are there to support workers. This includes any healthcare professionals, non-clinical staff, senior, middle and junior managers, volunteers, students, bank and agency staff, and former employees. There are other routes for patients and their families to raise matters of concern or to make suggestions for improvement, including Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS). 

Meet Our Guardians

We have three FTSU Guardians, who all work part-time and flexibly to cover the week between them. If the guardian for your area isn’t in work when you need to speak to them and you feel your issue can’t wait until they return, please contact another member of our team who will be able to talk your issue through with you.

pat-prescot.pngPat Prescott

Role: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
Area of work: Corporate and local divisions
Days of work: Thursday and Friday
Contact details: 07774 969 085 /

ftsu-mark-riding.jpgMark Riding

Role: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
Area of work: Community division
Days of work: Tuesday and Wednesday
Contact details: 07881 002 626 /

steve-morgan.pngSteven Morgan

Role: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
Area of work: Secure and specialist learning disability division
Days of work: Monday to Thursday
Contact details: 07469 396 927 /

Sue Fogg.pngSue Fogg

Role: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
Area of work: Mid-Mersey division
Days of work: Monday to Friday
Contact details: 01925 664142 /