The GDC has joined seven other UK healthcare regulators to publish an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.
Since 2017 there has been a legal duty that requires all prescribed bodies to publish an annual report on the whistleblowing disclosures made to them. Rather than publish this information separately, the regulators have decided to compile an annual report jointly to highlight our coordinated effort in working together to address the serious issues raised with us.
Our aim in this report is to be transparent about how we handle disclosures, highlight the action taken about these issues, and to improve collaboration across the health sector. Speaking up to protect others is important, and we want to encourage this, especially when there are serious concerns regarding public safety or confidence.
The number of whistleblowing disclosures we received has reduced from 93 last year to 61 this year. This reduction was partly due to the lower number of concerns we received relating to the pandemic, such as allegations of not using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), poor cross infection procedures and not adhering to social distancing rules. This we believe, could be a result of the improved guidance and information that was available to both dental professionals and patients.
We have also continued to review our processes and procedures for the identification of whistleblowers and have a more robust process for this identification at the point a concern is received, with support from internal legal services. This has included recognising how whistleblowing concerns differ from other concerns raised by dental professionals about other dental professionals, often referred to as ‘blue on blue’.
This Whistleblowing disclosures report 2022 is published jointly by the GDC with the General Chiropractic Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Health and Care Professions Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.