New National Guardian for the NHS appointed

Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark, a clinical leader and registered nurse, has been appointed as the new National Guardian for Freedom to Speak Up in the NHS in England.

In 2016 the role was established following the Freedom to Speak Up Review to help lead cultural change within the NHS. The programme has now grown to over 700 Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, that spans nearly 500 organisations.

Dr Chidgey-Clark has a wealth of experience, working in the NHS for over 30 years. Her most recent role was as non-executive director at NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group where she was a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, commented: “I am delighted that Jayne has accepted the position of National Guardian. She has extensive experience of working in the NHS and is passionate about improving the experiences of people using services.

“The National Guardian has a vital role in encouraging and supporting people to speak up freely and safely about anything which gets in the way of providing great care. I am confident that Jayne will continue to build on the progress made over the last five years to foster a culture of openness within the healthcare system as she leads and supports a growing network of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.”

Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark, incoming National Guardian, said: “I feel excited and privileged to have been appointed as the new National Guardian for the NHS. I am passionate about, and committed to, making a real difference in people’s lives through the planning and delivery of the highest quality, effective care with excellent outcomes for people who use our health services, and their families. 

“An effective Freedom to Speak Up culture in the NHS is key to this and I am proud to continue the excellent foundation that Dr Henrietta Hughes, the National Guardian’s Office and the 700+ Freedom to Speak Up Guardians across the country have laid.”

Dr Chidgey-Clark is expected to take up the role on 1st December.