Helené Donnelly is the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Ambassador for Cultural Change & Lead Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Helené supports staff to raise concerns and ensures that the voice of the frontline is heard clearly at a senior level within the organisation.
Helené previously worked in the A&E department at Stafford Hospital and following her experience and difficulties in trying to raise concerns there, she was a key witness at the Public Inquiry held by Robert Francis QC into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
She is a registered Nurse Practitioner, with over twenty years of experience working in the NHS and Social Care. In addition to her work at the Partnership Trust, Helené acted as an advisor in Sir Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak up Review (2015). She has advised the Department of Health, NHS England, NHSI, CQC, RCN, and the NHS Confederation.
She has worked with the NMC to develop improvements in raising concerns/duty of candour and witness liaison, and is a member of the NMC Professional Strategic Advisory Group. She has also worked with Public Concern at Work (PCaW) and Health Education England (HEE) to develop national raising concerns training, now implemented by the National FTSU Guardians Office (NGO).
In addition, Helené is working with the NHS National Institute for Health Research as an advisor to the University of Birmingham, Cardiff University, University of Surrey and King’s College London on the FTSU Guardian national research project.
She acts as an Honorary and Visiting lecturer to the Universities of Manchester, Salford and the MOD respectively.
Helené continues to advise the government and relevant stakeholders on the importance of embedding and sustaining positive cultures, where staff are genuinely encouraged and enabled to speak up and voice concerns to protect staff and patients.