Listening to Guardians: Freedom to Speak Up Guardian survey report 2023 now live

A report published by the National Guardian’s Office (NGO) in July 2023 outlines the experience of Freedom to Speak Up guardians, highlighting that action is still needed to remove the barriers to speaking up.

There are 1000 guardians in the NHS and independent sector organisations, national bodies, and across healthcare sectors that ensure workers can speak up about any issues impacting their ability to do their job.

The Listening to Guardians: Freedom to Speak Up Survey, run by Picker since 2018 and now in its sixth iteration, provides NGO with comprehensive detail on the working experiences of Guardians, helping the identification and prioritisation of changes needed to support the expanding Freedom to Speak Up network. Their views give valuable insights into both how the Guardian role is implemented and what further support and learning is needed to make speaking up business as usual.

Findings have proved to be largely positive regarding the speaking up culture within organisations, with 84% of respondents saying their organisation was taking action to tackle barriers to speaking up, a 9% increase compared to the previous results in 2021.

However, the results clearly show that improvement and action are still needed for Guardian’s to do their role effectively. Almost two-thirds of Guardians who responded to the survey (66%) identified the concern from workers that nothing will be done as a barrier to speaking up in their organisation, a worrying 8% increase compared to 2021.

Read the press release from NGO here.

Read the full report here.

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