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Speaking up ‘still not business as usual’, national guardian warns

Whistleblowing is still not ‘business as usual’ and leaders must take action after an unusual drop in the proportion of staff viewing their organisation as having a positive speak up culture, the national guardian for freedom to speak up has said.

Speaking to HSJ, Jayne Chidgey-Clark highlighted some “really concerning” findings from the National Guardian’s Office’s most recent survey, both about speak up culture and the wellbeing of the freedom to speak up guardians.

The NGO survey found a 10 percentage point drop in freedom to speak up guardians agreeing senior leaders supported workers to speak up, dropping from around 80% to 70% between 2020 and 2021.

She also highlighted an increase in FTSU guardians reporting staff had experienced “detriment” for speaking up within their organisation.

Ms Chidgey-Clark, a nurse by background who took up the role last December, said it was the first time the National Guardian’s Office had seen a drop on this question since the survey began in 2017, and that it also “chimed” with the latest NHS staff survey.

She added: “Workers are saying the same thing, and that’s really concerning. And it will be even more concerning if we see a similar trend next year. It’s almost like an early warning sign to leaders."

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 28 July 2022


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