Healthcare regulators publish whistleblowing report

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (Wednesday 11 September) joined with seven other healthcare professional regulators to publish an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.

View the Whistleblowing disclosures report 2019

The report covers the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019 and shows that the GMC received 35 whistleblowing disclosures during that period. This was an increase on the previous year when 23 concerns were raised.

Of the disclosures the majority, 33, were made to the GMC’s Fitness to Practise teams.

  • 13 were concluded after an initial assessment being carried out.
  • 15 developed into preliminary or full investigations.
  • Four were not progressed due to insufficient information and no further information being provided.
  • One was closed as the information was already under investigation.

The GMC’s Registration and Revalidation teams received the other two concerns. One resulted in advice being given to the discloser and the other was referred to the Fitness to Practise Directorate.

Of all the disclosures received by the GMC, 13 were made by doctors, ten were made by other healthcare professionals and 12 were anonymous. Nine of the 35 disclosures are still going through the investigation process.

"We take any concerns raised with us very seriously, and publishing this report should give people confidence that regulators across healthcare will take action where necessary. "

Anna Rowland

Assistant Director of Policy, Business Transformation and Safeguarding 

‘However, the fact that some complainants, possibly fearful of repercussions, raised issues anonymously shows that there is still some way to go to improve the culture so that it supports raising and acting on concerns. Whistleblowers need to feel confident that they will be supported, and that their concerns will be addressed.’

The GMC has an operational group which meets throughout the year to reflect on disclosures received and staff are given training and support on how to recognise and act on whistleblowing disclosures.

This Whistleblowing disclosures report 2019 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.