The GDC has joined eight other UK healthcare regulators in publishing an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.
Rather than publish this information separately, all the healthcare regulators’ have compiled an annual report jointly to highlight our coordinated effort in working together to highlight and address whistleblowing concerns raised with us.
The aim in the report is to be transparent about how regulators 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 this year was 82, compared to 61 last year. This was a return to the level of disclosures we had received in previous years, indicating last year may have been an outlier.
Compared to other regulators we received a higher proportion of disclosures for the size of our register. Most dentistry is provided in a primary care setting and outside the more robust clinical governance frameworks that characterise some other forms of healthcare, and this may mean that alternative disclosure routes are less present in dentistry, with a larger proportion being dealt with by us.
We have continued to review our processes and procedures to identify whistleblowing concerns earlier and we now have a more robust process for this at the point a concern is received. 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 2023 is published jointly by us with the General Chiropractic Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Social Work England.
Read our definition of a whistleblower and download the Whistleblowing disclosures report 2023 here.