What is a whistleblower?

You’re a whistleblower if you’re a worker and you report certain types of wrongdoing. This will usually be something you’ve seen at work - though not always. As a whistleblower you’re protected by law - you should not be treated unfairly or lose your job because you ‘blow the whistle’.

The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others, for example patients or the general public.

You can raise your concern at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the near future.

Who is protected by law?

You’re protected if you’re a worker, for example you’re an employee, such as a dentist or dental care professional; a trainee or student nurse; an associate; or a member of a Limited Liability Partnership. 

Complaints that count as whistleblowing

You’re protected by law if you report that:

  • a criminal offence has occurred, for example fraud
  • someone’s health and safety is in danger
  • there is risk or actual damage to the environment
  • a miscarriage of justice has taken place
  • the company is breaking the law, for example does not have the right insurance
  • you believe someone is covering up wrongdoing

Complaints that do not count as whistleblowing

Personal grievances (for example bullying, harassment, discrimination) are not covered by whistleblowing law, unless your particular case is in the public interest.

We follow the same definition of a whistleblower which is set detailed on the Government website:  Whistleblowing for employees: What is a whistleblower.

We are a prescribed body for whistleblowers, which means that a worker can contact the GDC to report suspected or known wrongdoing about dental professionals and the GDC will treat these individuals as whistleblowers in accordance with the government guidance.

We publish details of any whistleblowing concerns we receive annually as part of the healthcare professionals’ regulators whistle blowing disclosures report.