A health trust which provides a wide range of services in the community across the region has been declared the best in the country for encouraging staff to speak out about their concerns - for the second year running.

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust was given top honours by Dr Henrietta Hughes, national guardian for the NHS, in her second national Freedom to Speak Up Index.

Dr Hughes said: “Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust deserve enormous credit for being the highest ranked trust overall on the Freedom to Speak Up Index for the second year running.

“Looking at the figures in more detail reveals that the trust also attained the highest percentage in relation to staff agreeing that they would feel secure raising concerns about clinical practice, with 82.1 per cent, compared to the national average of 71.7 per cent.”

Dr Hughes added: “I very much hope other trusts are able to look to what they are doing in order to achieve similar results and that Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust continue to strive to make speaking up business as usual.”

The trust provides an extensive portfolio of services in seven areas across the region, including Cambridgeshire. They include dental, musculo-skeletal and children’s services.

Mary Elford, who chairs the trust, said: “I am so proud that our commitment to building a culture where people feel safe to express their concerns, as well as their ideas for improvement, and have confidence that these will be acted upon, has been recognised for the second year running.

“There is always more we can do, and we will continue to build on this success, including through our network of Freedom to Speak Up Champions.”

Matthew Winn, trust chief executive added: “It is great news that the views of our staff have led to our trust being rated the best NHS trust in the

country for encouraging staff to raise their concerns.

“As the Index report identifies, a positive speaking up culture is usually seen in trusts, such as ours, rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, and is therefore directly linked to how our staff provide high quality and safe care for residents across the East of England. I am always inspired by all the great work our staff do and the compassionate way they do it.”