Freedom to Speak Up

Lauren Staveley is the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian based at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

She can be contacted on:

You can speak up about anything that gets in the way of safe and high-quality care. You can also speak up about anything that affects your experience in the workplace.

Freedom to Speak up Policy 

Speaking up may include:

  • A quick discussion with a line manager
  • A suggestion for improvement
  • Raising an issue with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
  • Bringing a matter to the attention of a regulator

Some people may interpret any of these actions as ‘making a protected disclosure’.

Others may only see making a protected disclosure as:

  • something that is ‘formal’
  • a matter that involves an outside an organisation
  • something that may qualify for ‘protection’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act

Speaking up is all these things and by raising concerns early, we will make sure that we provide a service which is caring and safe for our patients, their relatives and carers, in an environment that is respectful for everyone.

Guidance for Managers 


The Trust’s mediation service now falls under the Freedom to Speak Up office. 

Mediation is an informal, confidential and voluntary process which aims to reach a resolution acceptable to all parties in a safe and constructive environment. 

Mediation has a number of benefits and will ensure: 

  • An informal resolution is reached 
  • It encourages people to be more open to compromise 
  • Mediation can maintain and improve relationships 
  • The process can be less stressful for those involved 
  • It can resolve workplace conflict 
  • The process is fair and neutral 
  • Mediation improves communication 
  • The process is confidential 
  • It is led by impartial, skilled negotiators  
  • Mediation is voluntary, you can decide it’s right for you. 

If you would like to contact the team to discuss how mediation works and whether it is right for your situation, please email: 

Click here to access a mediation service request form and click here for a guide to mediation.

External Contacts

Helplines Website Phone
 Protect (formerly Public Concern at work)  020 7404 6609
 NHS Whistleblowers helpline  08000 724 725
 GMC have an advice and reporting line  0161 923 6399
National Guardian's Office
NHS England - Freedom to Speak UP
Professional regulatory bodies Website Phone
General Dental Council 020 7887 3800
General Optical Council 020 7580 3898
General Pharmaceutical Council 020 3365 3400
Health Professions Council 020 7582 0866
Nursing and Midwifery Council 020 7637 7181
Other regulatory and investigatory bodies Website Phone
Care Quality Commission 03000 616161
National Patient Safety Agency 020 7927 9500
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care 020 7389 8030
British Medical Association 020 7387 4499
Medical Defence Union Limited 0800 716 646
Medical Protection Society 0845 605 4000
Freedom to Speak Up Office - Read our Privacy Statement

    We take the concerns raised with us, and any information you give, extremely seriously and we want you to know how we handle it. We know that without you trusting that the information you provide remains confidential, then this would restrict the number of staff feeling able to speak up safely.

    The Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Office consists of two staff members . Any information you disclose will be treated in the strictest confidence within the team and will not be shared with any other member of staff, regardless of seniority. The only exception to this is if we have any concerns due to safeguarding or criminal activity, in which case, we are obliged to report it to the relevant party.

    We only take the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary to fulfil the purpose of your interaction with us. We record the type of concern raised with us, who raised it and how to get in touch. This is so we are able to manage our caseloads and provide feedback to the concern raised. Any information that is taken is stored on secure servers and restricted to the members of the office only, additionally protected with passwords.

    The National Guardian’s Office (NGO) oversees Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’s and sit alongside the CQC. As part of their role, the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian is expected to submit quarterly data to the NGO in relation to speaking up within their organisation. This data is anonymised and a summary of the data that is submitted is listed below:

    • Number of cases brought to FTSUGs per quarter
    • Number of cases brought by professional level (Worker / Manager / Senior leader / Not disclosed)
    • Number of cases brought by professional group (AHPs / Medical and Dental / Nurses & Midwives etc.)
    • Number of cases raised anonymously
    • Number of cases with an element of patient safety / quality
    • Number of cases with an element of bullying or harassment
    • Number of cases with an element of worker safety
    • Number of cases where disadvantageous and / or demeaning treatment as a result of speaking up (often referred to as ‘detriment’) is indicated
    • Common themes from cases brought to the FTSU Guardian
    • Summary of learning points
    • Based on feedback, how many responses indicated that ‘given their experience, they would speak up again’
    • Total number of responses
    • The number of these that responded ‘Yes’
    • The number of these that responded ‘No’
    • The number of these that responded ‘Maybe’
    • The number of these that responded ‘I don’t know’

    Any data we record will be done so with your explicit consent and explained to you before you raise a concern as explained above. However, if at any point you do not wish to give your consent, or you wish to withdraw the consent already given, then please email and we will action this immediately.