GMC whistle-blowing helpline leads to "serious" investigations

GMC whistle-blowing helpline leads to "serious" investigations

A helpline set up by the General Medical Council (GMC) to encourage whistle-blowing regarding poor healthcare has led to 12 investigations deemed "very serious" in its first two months.

According to figures reported by the BBC, the anonymous service has received 187 calls since it launched in December, with one in seven said to be significant enough to lead to the GMC making further enquiries.

The majority of those who contacted the helpline were doctors, but some members of the public also made calls.

Those allegations of a "very serious" nature involve claims patients may be at risk because the professionals in question are not fit to practice.

Callers from the north-west, West Midlands and London accounted for the highest proportion of complaints.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said: "We haven't engaged in a massive publicity campaign around this line, so the response shows there is a need for this service."

The helpline was launched ahead of the publication of the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust scandal, which revealed that several members of staff attempted to raise concerns over standards of care but were not adequately dealt with.

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