Skip to main content
AchievementsGeneral & Seasonal News

Freedom to Speak up Offer shortlisted for the 2021 HSJ Awards

By 24th August 2021No Comments

Sirona care & health is delighted to announce that it’s Freedom to Speak Up Offer led by Karen Gleave and Wendy Best has been shortlisted for a national award.

It has been shortlisted in the Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year category at the HSJ Awards 2021, recognising their outstanding contribution to healthcare – in what has been an exceptional and challenging period across the sector.

Despite the demanding circumstances of the past 18 months, over 1000 entries have been received for this year’s HSJ Awards, with 205 organisations, projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist. The volume and standards of applications has been a true testament to those health and social care staff, who continue to push outstanding work and transformational projects across the sector.

The judging panel was once again made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community, including Sir Bruce Keogh (Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT); Marie Gabriel CBE (Chair, NHS Race and Health Observatory); and former HSJ Trust of the Year winners Ann Marr OBE (Chief Executive, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust) and Richard Mitchell (Chief Executive, Sherwood Forest Hospitals FT).

Following the intense and in-depth judging process, Sirona care & health was shortlisted, ahead of the official awards ceremony to be held later this year (November 18th). Standing out amongst tough competition from hundreds of other exemplary applicants, the Freedom to Speak Up offer was selected based on ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that their project has had on both patient and staff experiences.

Karen is Lead Learning and Development Partner and is a Guardian alongside Wendy, who is Head of Communications.

Karen said: “We couldn’t have got this far without colleagues being prepared to speak up about things which can improve care for people and services. They also trust the process which leads to action being taken where appropriate. It is also important we have the commitment and ongoing support from the Senior Leadership Team and the Board, who actively encourage an open and transparent culture which we know can be made even better by learning from experiences of colleagues and they fully respect the confidential nature of Freedom to Speak Up which Wendy and I abide by.”

 Amanda Cheesley, Sirona’s Chair and Non-Exectuive Lead for Freedom to Speak Up, said:, “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year. This recognition really does show that as an organisation, we are passionate about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be heard and to share their experiences so we can continually improve our services.  Hearing this announcement feels like an incredible achievement for everyone involved and being nominated has been a huge morale boost for us all!”

Janet Rowse, Chief Executive, added: “We’re thrilled to hear that we’ve been shortlisted for Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year. The nomination reflects the collaborative efforts of our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to deliver our Freedom to Speak up offering and really make a difference.”

Sarah Margetts, Director of People and Development is Sirona’s Executive Lead for Freedom to Speak Up and said: “We are encouraging a culture where people feel supported to speak up in line with our Taking it Personally values; we want people to know we will listen and help and we are committed to continually learning and developing as an organisation. It is really important to us that we have as many ways as possible for our colleagues to share their experiences and Freedom to Speak Up is one of many we have in place within Sirona to achieve this.

HSJ editor Alistair McLellan, comments “On behalf of all my colleagues, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sirona care & health on being nominated in the category of  Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year, in this year’s HSJ Awards. The applications we receive always present our panel of judges with a very difficult task as the standard is unfailingly high and the breadth of innovation and passion for patient care is always so inspiring.

“This year, we really have been overwhelmed with the level of entries, particularly when set against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the huge challenges faced by our health and social care workforce.

“We are therefore looking forward to welcoming all our finalists to the live ceremony in November and joining us in celebrating their incredible achievements and commitment to excellence.”

The full list of nominees for the HSJ Awards 2021 can be found on