Annual report on whistleblowing from healthcare regulators published

The General Optical Council (GOC) has joined seven other healthcare regulators to publish an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.

The report shows that nine whistleblowing disclosures were raised to the GOC in the 12 months between April 2020 and March 2021.

All nine disclosures received during the year were placed into our fitness to practise triage system for formal assessment.

Of these nine disclosures, four cases were closed by our triage team with no further action being taken:

  • in one case we were satisfied that concerns had been resolved locally with the employer;
  • in two cases, the discloser disengaged from the assessment process, and we decided to close the cases as we had received insufficient information to progress them any further;
  • in one case, we identified that the concern would be more appropriately investigated by NHS England and referred it to them.

In five cases, we have taken regulatory action by opening formal fitness to practise proceedings:

  • three of these cases are subject to ongoing fitness to practise investigations;
  • one case was closed following legal advice that the GOC did not have jurisdiction to pursue it;
  • one case was closed after the discloser disengaged from the process and we had insufficient information upon which to continue the investigation.

Our ‘Speaking up’ guidance aimed at our registrants helps them to address difficulties they have encountered when speaking up or when thinking of doing so.

The Whistleblowing disclosures report 2021 is published jointly by the GOC, General Medical Council, General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Health and Care Professions Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Click here to read Whistleblowing disclosures report 2021.