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A nurse from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the MBE.

Sonia Pearcey, who lives in Gloucester, is the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and her inclusion on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 is in part due to her work in supporting Trust staff to speak up about anything that gets in the way of providing good care.

Sonia, who has been a nurse for 32 years, said: “I am proud to be a nurse and feel privileged to be a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. This award is testament to the support of my family and colleagues throughout healthcare. I would especially like to thank all the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians who strive to protect patient safety and support staff to speak up.”

Trust Chief Executive Paul Roberts said: “On behalf of the whole Trust I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Sonia on her MBE. Sonia has made and continues to make a huge contribution to supporting our staff, our patients and partners in creating an open culture, where we can discuss and solve concerns. This is vitally important if we are to continue improving the quality of the services we provide.”

Sonia started her student nurse training in 1988 at The Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, Belfast. She joined Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust in 2008 when it was known as Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. Her career has involved roles in Vascular Surgery, Practice Nursing, Sexual Health and leading on Listening into Action.

As a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian (and Chair of the South West region of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians) Sonia is available to anyone in the Trust who wants to speak up about issues such as safety, unfair treatment, poor practice or to improve services. Freedom to Speak Up Guardians were appointed by all NHS Trusts in 2015, following recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC, who chaired the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.

The National Guardian for the NHS, Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE, said: “Sonia richly deserves this honour for the wonderful work she has done in her trust to promote speaking up and her work as a Regional Chair and trainer. She has long been one of the people my office has looked to whenever we have wanted to understand the experiences the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians go through. She is someone who has helped make Freedom to Speak Up a success and has driven change and improvement. Both my team and I congratulate her whole-heartedly.”

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