It is a sign of the times we live in that referrals are made to healthcare regulators from a number of different sources including members of the public, patients, employers and even family members of the regulated professional.
In April 2017, new legislation came into force which requires all healthcare regulatory bodies to publish an annual report on the whistleblowing disclosures made to them by other workers. The purpose of this report is to encourage transparency concerning the way in which complaints from whistleblowers are dealt with and to reassure whistleblowers that their concerns will be taken seriously.
Recently, eight healthcare regulatory bodies prepared the second “Whistleblowing Disclosures Report 2019” covering the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
Charlotte Ellis one of our specialist professional discipline and regulatory lawyer provides a summary of the key findings of the report.
- 75 whistleblowing disclosures were received by the General Dental Council (GDC). In 56 of these cases, fitness to practice cases were opened.
- 35 whisteblowing disclosures were received by the General Medical Council (GMC), 33 of which were sent directly to the Fitness to Practise Directorate. 19 of these 33 were closed following an initial assessment or an investigation. 2 of the 35 cases were received by the Registration and Revalidation Directorate.
- 34 whistleblowing disclosures were received by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). All of them were dealt with by the Fitness to Practise Directorate and regulatory action was taken in all 34 cases
- 19 whistleblowing disclosures were received by the General Optical Council (GOC) and all of them were triaged for formal assessment. 10 of these cases resulted in regulatory action.
- 16 whistleblowing disclosures were received by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 7 of these cases are still under review whilst 5 of them resulted in regulatory action being taken.
- 9 whisteblowing cases were received by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 1 of these cases resulted in regulatory action whilst the remaining 8 cases were referred to an alternative body.
- 2 whistleblowing disclosures were received by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and both were investigated as fitness to practise cases.
- No whistleblowing disclosures were received by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).
It is clear from these figures that registrant healthcare professionals are at risk of being referred to their respective regulatory bodies by whistleblowers, their employers, patients and other members of the public alike.
If you are a healthcare professional in need of advice relating to registration, revalidation or fitness to practise issues following a referral to your regulatory body then please contact us today.