Fewer employees made whistleblowing reports to GPhC last year

The number of pharmacy workers making whistleblowing reports on their colleagues or employers dropped significantly during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, newly published figures reveal.

Since 2017 the UK’s eight healthcare professional regulators have been required by law to publish yearly reports on the whistleblowing disclosures made to them by workers.

The latest report, which covers the period April 1 2020 to March 31 of this year, reveals that the GPhC received just five disclosures, less than a quarter of the 22 it received in the previous reporting period.

Two of these cases were investigated and concluded with no further regulatory action, while one case was concluded with guidance from the GPhC’s education department. The remaining two are still under review.

The GPhC said it used all disclosures to “inform our standards and guidance development,” adding that protected discosures “also inform our operational processes and approach to understanding what the most appropriate regulatory lever is to achieve the best outcome”.

Of the other regulators, the Nursing and Midwifery Council received by far the most disclosures at 192 – almost double the amount it received the previous year – followed by the General Dental Council at 100.

At just one disclosure, the General Chiropractic Council received the least.

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