The GDC has joined eight other UK healthcare regulators in publishing an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.
Rather than publish this information separately, the regulators have compiled an annual report jointly to highlight their coordinated effort in working together to highlight and address whistleblowing concerns raised to them.
The aim of the report is to be transparent about how regulators handle disclosures, highlight the action taken about these issues, and improve collaboration across the health sector. Speaking up to protect others is important, and the GDC wants to encourage this, especially when there are serious concerns regarding public safety or confidence.
The number of whistleblowing disclosures the GDC received this year was 82, compared to 61 last year. This was a return to the level of disclosures the GDC had received in previous years, indicating last year may have been an outlier.
Compared to other regulators, the GDC received a higher proportion of disclosures for the size of the 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 the regulator.
The GDC has continued to review its processes and procedures to identify whistleblowing concerns earlier and has 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’.
The ‘Whistleblowing Disclosures Report 2023’ 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, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Social Work England.