Man looking at speech bubbles

Our governance

The National Guardian’s Office is jointly funded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS England and Improvement (NHS E/I).

The National Guardian for the NHS reports annually to the boards of CQC and NHS E/I on the work of the NGO.

Accountability and Liaison Board

The Accountability and Liaison Board meets quarterly and its responsibilities include:

  • Acting as a ‘critical friend’ for the office, providing input and guidance on strategic plans and development
  • Acting as a key liaison point between the National Guardian’s Office and its funding bodies
  • Reviewing complaints made about the office.

ALB Members

Senior representatives from the CQC and NHS E/I form the office’s Accountability and Liaison Board.

Sir Robert Francis

Sir Robert Francis QC

Non-Executive Director, CQC

Andrew Morris

Sir Andrew Morris OBE

Non-Executive Director and Current Chair, NHSI

Partnership Working Group

Members of the Partnership Working Group (PWG) are senior leaders drawn from the office’s funding bodies, as well as the Department of Health and Social Care.

The PWG is an operational group to bring the funding organisations together and support the implementation of the National Guardian’s work programme by providing insight and advice on emerging priorities.

Liaison between the office and PWG members also helps ensure the co-ordination of the organisations’ respective work to support speaking up in healthcare.

Advisory Working Group

The Advisory Working Group (AWG) comprises individuals and organisations with a variety of backgrounds and interests, whose expertise and experience help inform the development of the office’s work.

National Guardian's Office Annual Reports

The National Guardian publishes an Annual Report which is laid before Parliament, to showcase good practice in speaking up, hold the system to account and advocate for cultural change in health.


Details of how to complain about the National Guardian's Office or a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian can be downloaded below. We view complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person that has made the complaint.

Complaints about Freedom to Speak Up Guardians

Complaints about the National Guardian's Office

From the April 1 2022, the NGO will have a refreshed complaints policy and procedure published on our website. As part of this, complaints about the office will be dealt with by CQC National Complaints Team.

This policy is currently in draft and will be published once agreement has been reached between both CQC and NGO. Prior to this date, if you would like to make a complaint about the office, please continue to contact [email protected] in the first instance.