Results of third Pulse survey – Supporting Freedom to Speak Up during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The National Guardian’s Office has undertaken its third survey in a series of pulse surveys to better understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on Freedom to Speak Up.

Twenty-eight per cent of guardians on our directory responded, and the results are published here.

Workers continued to be encouraged to speak up. Ninety-three per cent (93%) of respondents to this survey believe workers were being encouraged to speak up – up from 72% in April. 

When asked about the types of issues workers were speaking up, the biggest percentage of respondents (79%) selected worker safety and wellbeing. This included matters such as PPE, social distancing and risk assessmentsThere was a large increase in the percentage of respondents reporting that workers were speaking up about the impact of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic workers. 

There has also been a sharp increase in respondents indicating workers are speaking up about behavioural issues, such as bullying and harassment. 

As organisations begin to focus on the COVID-19 recovery phase, it is vital that workers feel able to use their Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and other routes to speak up about any matters. This period has provided an unprecedented challenge to the sector and our valued health and care workers must be listened to and responded to. This crisis is an opportunity to listen to workers’ voices for learning and improvement, yet most respondents (56%) reported that Freedom to Speak Up Guardians were not involved in recovery discussions. 

Thank you to all the health workers for all you are doing to support patients and colleagues during this challenging time. We are working closely with partners who are receiving concerns from workers, including regulators, and representative and membership organisations. We will be sharing the results of this survey with our partner organisations, leaders of NHS and foundation trusts and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Read the results of the third Pulse survey

Read the results of the second Pulse survey

Read the results of the first Pulse survey

June 25, 2020