Working on national platforms and programs to ensure
the patient's voice is always heard
Frequently asked questions
How is your service different to what we already have in place?
The Guardian Service is independent and can access the Trust in a different manner to other existing means in seeking resolutions. We are complementary to, and not ‘instead of’, existing methods. The main purpose for introducing the service is to provide an additional path for staff, in particular for staff that are (for whatever reason) not prepared to use existing procedures. Sometimes we are informed that the reason for contacting the Guardian and not using existing processes is because of fear of recrimination, other times the caller wants to talk through their experience and double-check what their options for taking action may be.
What is the difference between red staff safety concern and an amber staff safety concern?
Essentially it is the speed of action that the Guardian Service will take in respect of contacting the appropriate person at the Trust, and the speed of expected response from the Trust. Red requires a response in 12 hours and an amber alert requires a response in 48 hours.
What is the difference between the Guardian Service and Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?
We are complementary to, and not ‘instead of’, existing methods. The Guardian Service does not provide counselling or mediation. We do not provide legal or psychological advice. We are often used as a ‘sounding board’ which helps the employee identify exactly what’s happening to them which leads to options for resolution for the individual to consider. We are experienced managers and may ask the employee to consider whether what is happening to them could be part of a reasonable management process or to put themselves in the shoes of the other party concerned, where this may be appropriate.
What do you do that the Union doesn’t do?
We are complementary to the work of the union. Staff do not have to be a member in order to contact us. If the employee is not already engaged in a process (such as disciplinary or grievance), then we are able to support or request senior decision makers to intervene to get a speedy resolution. We offer a strictly confidential, non-judgemental, supportive staff liaison service.
Why should we trust you?
If I can’t talk to my line manager about the problems here, how or why should I talk to you?
What do users say about you?
Users regularly thank the Guardian Service for providing a sympathetic ear, asking pertinent questions, putting the other side of the argument and listing potential options for achieving the desired resolution. Sometimes users ask us to raise concerns on their behalf, other times users feel more confident about having a difficult conversation or using internal channels to seek resolution themselves.