Annual healthcare regulators whistleblowing report published

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (Thursday 24 September) joined with seven other healthcare professional regulators to publish the annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.

The report covers the 12 months from April 2019 to March 2020 and shows the GMC received 36 whistleblowing disclosures during that period, a marginal increase on the previous year when 35 concerns were raised. Twenty-three whistleblowing disclosures were made during the period from April 2017 to March 2018.

Of the disclosures to the GMC, 21 were made by doctors, seven by other healthcare professionals and eight were anonymous. Of the 36 disclosures during this year’s reporting period:

  • Twenty-eight led to regulatory action, such as opening an investigation, providing guidance to those involved with the disclosure or referring the complaint to the GMC’s fitness to practise team.
  • Five resulted in no action, due to a lack of information and no further details being provided.
  • Three were referred to an alternative body and regulatory action taken.
This year has been very challenging for many healthcare professionals, and it’s more important than ever before that they feel supported if they need to speak up.
Anna Rowland
Assistant Director of Policy and Business Transformation

‘Our guidance on raising and acting on concerns guides doctors through the reporting process. And our confidential helpline also provides support to those who are worried about patient safety. 

‘We’ve also put in place steps to protect those who raise public interest concerns and are then referred to us by their employer. This includes requiring organisations to disclose if a doctor has previously raised a public interest concern, if they then refer them to us.’

The GMC has resources available for healthcare professionals if they need to raise a concern about a doctor. A confidential helpline, 0161 923 6399, is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

This Whistleblowing disclosures report 2020 is published jointly by the GMC with the General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Health and Care Professions Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.