Healthcare regulators' annual whistleblowing report published

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today published the annual report on whistleblowing disclosures, alongside eight other healthcare regulators.

The report shows that, between April 2022 and March this year, 48 concerns were raised with the GMC by whistleblowers. That’s a drop of 23% when compared to 62 in 2021/22.

Of the 48 concerns raised in the 12-month period, 24 were by doctors, 11 by other healthcare professionals and 13 were anonymous.

All but one of the 48 were reviewed by the GMC’s fitness to practise team. Of those:

  • 36 were closed after an initial assessment.
  • 11 resulted in either a preliminary or full investigation, of which six have been closed and five are still going through the investigation process.

"It is important that healthcare has a culture in which people are encouraged and supported to speak up when they need to raise concerns."

Anna Rowland

GMC Assistant Director for Policy and Business Transformation

Of those closed after an initial assessment or a preliminary or full investigation, reasons for closure included:

  • the disclosure was being or had already been handled locally.
  • advice was given to the discloser.
  • the disclosure was outside the GMC’s remit, for example a local employment dispute.
  • no concerns were found from the information provided.

One whistleblowing concern was handled by the GMC’s registration and revalidation team. It was referred on to an alternative body.

Anna Rowland, the GMC’s Assistant Director for Policy and Business Transformation, said:

‘It is important that healthcare has a culture in which people are encouraged and supported to speak up when they need to raise concerns.

‘However, we understand that reporting concerns about healthcare professionals can be a difficult and challenging thing to do. We offer support to whistleblowers including our confidential helpline, staffed by trained advisors, which helps doctors to raise concerns or ask for advice.

‘We also offer training and guidance for doctors on raising and acting on concerns, and we have safeguards in place to protect doctors from being referred to us in retaliation for having raised public interest concerns.’

Information and advice on raising concerns and whistleblowing is available on the GMC’s speaking up ethical hub. The GMC’s confidential helpline for raising concerns – 0161 923 6399 – is available 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Read the Whistleblowing disclosures report 2023, 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, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Social Work England.