Our safeguarding policy

Our role

We exist to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

As a statutory body, and as a charity, we have a responsibility to safeguard those that work for us and with us and those we come into contact with from harm.

What is safeguarding?

In its simplest form, safeguarding means keeping people safe from harm. This covers all forms of abuse and harm, including physical, emotional and sexual harm.

Safeguarding covers both our beneficiaries: patients, members of the public and doctors, as well as our staff and others that work for us and with us..

Our commitment

We are committed to protecting the public, our staff and others that work for us and with us from harm. This means we will:

  • be proactive in identifying concerns
  • listen carefully to the concerns that are raised
  • assess the risk and escalate when needed
  • refer to other organisations where necessary.

In doing so, we will maintain appropriate confidentiality at all times.

Safeguarding is the responsibility of everybody at the GMC. Through regular training, briefings and updates, everyone at the GMC will understand their safeguarding responsibilities and how to act on any concern they have.

Our organisational culture is driven by our values, which underpin everything we do. These are: Integrity, Excellence, Collaboration, Fairness and Transparency.

Our health and safety policy makes clear our aim to provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all our staff, wherever they work.

In turn, as set out in our Dignity at Work policy, we are clear on the behaviours we expect from all staff. As the policy explains, everyone is responsible for their own behaviour and should:

  • treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • not bully or harass anyone
  • not victimise or attempt to victimise anyone who has made complaints of discrimination, or provided information to support a complaint
  • report incidents to your manager or Human Resources (HR) if you think they are inappropriate.

Acting on potential harm to staff

We have extensive health and safety and HR policies in place so staff are safe and supported at work. These include our:

  • Health and safety policy
  • Dignity at work policy
  • Bullying and harassment policy
  • Equality and diversity policy.

Where a staff member has a safeguarding concern, and does not feel able to raise this through the line management structure, they can do so through our Raising Concerns and Whistleblowing policy.

They can also speak in confidence to our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, Lindsey Mallors. She can be contacted on 020 7189 5188 or freedomtospeakup.lindseymallors@gmc-uk.org

Acting on potential harm to others who work with us

We work with others to deliver our regulatory responsibilities, including with agency workers, contractors and associates.

Our Dignity at Work policy, which covers these groups, explains that if these individuals have concerns, they should report them to their manager.

Acting on potential harm to others

Through our regulatory activities we may come into contact with those who are vulnerable, including doctors, patients and members of the public.

Where there is evidence that suggests someone may be at risk of harm to themselves, we have guidance to help our staff assess risk and act accordingly, including contacting the emergency services where necessary. This includes an interactive tool to assist all staff if they encounter an individual who is suicidal. 

Where we have information relating to criminal conduct or evidence that suggests there is a risk of harm to others, we have guidance and procedures to support staff on raising concerns. This includes, where appropriate, raising concerns with the police and with social services.

Where we have reason to think that an individual who carries out a role working with children or vulnerable adults may pose a risk of harm, we have guidance and procedures for staff to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service in England and Wales or Disclosure Scotland. 

We'll review this policy annually to make sure it remains fit for purpose.