Committee speak up guardian service

The speak up guardian is an independent and objective person who committee members can contact to raise concerns that they may feel unable to raise by other routes.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Tuesday 25 April 2023
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BMA committee members who have concerns they would like to raise about the work of their committee can use our free speak up guardian.

This service can offer information and emotional support in a strictly confidential, non-judgemental manner and in an off-the-record discussion.


What the service can help you to do

  • Articulate your raised concern.
  • Understand what options exist in resolving your concern.
  • Reach a decision on what actions you may wish to take.
  • Offer support as an independent facilitator where two parties to a concern wish to meet and where the reporting member would like this support.
  • Bring an issue to the attention of an appropriate executive or elected officer anonymously or 'named,' at your request.


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Contact the speak up guardian

You can call or email, Monday - Friday from 8am to 8pm.

Call - 0333 577 6116

Email the speak up guardian

What the service doesn't do

  • Provide legal advice.
  • Provide mediation.
  • Provide counselling.
  • Provide psychological advice.
  • Tell you what to do.
  • Undertake investigations.


How the service works

The BMA’s speak up guardian is Mary Walsh from The Guardian Service. 

  1. Initial contact with Mary Walsh can be made either by telephone, email or in person using the details above.
    If Mary is unable to take your call, please leave a voicemail. All calls will be responded to within the same working day. Calls do not go to a telephone answering service to ensure your query or concern remains confidential.
  2. The next step will be a one hour meeting with Mary (currently operating virtually) and a determination at the end of that meeting on what the next steps are for your concern.
  3. Outcomes can include no further action, escalation anonymously in line with agreed procedure or escalation identifying you in line with pre-agreed procedure. A concern may be escalated immediately if there are issues of potential danger to any individual including self-harm or staff safety.
Meeting notes and your privacy

Mary will write a record of the meeting on paper by hand and a scanned version will be uploaded to The Guardian Service's secure servers.

Following the meeting paper records will be shredded and in line with the service's GDPR policy, these scanned notes will be kept for the duration of any individual concern. They are removed on completion of a case.