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Handling whistleblowing concerns policy

The following information is available in Welsh: Polisi ymdrin â phryderon chwythu'r chwiban

Whistleblowing is the raising of a concern, either within the workplace or externally, about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing which affects others.

We recognise that raising concerns can be difficult. If you are an employee – whether an osteopath employed by the NHS, a receptionist at an osteopath’s practice, or a tutor at an osteopathic educational provider – and are thinking about raising concerns with the GOsC, this policy explains:

  • the type of concerns that we can consider under the whistleblowing legislation
  • how we will deal with concerns which have been reported to us
  • the action that we will take and the timescales for doing so.

Download the Handling Whistleblowing Concerns Policy

In the UK, ‘whistleblowers’ are protected by legislation (The Public interest Disclosure Act 1998 as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013) and the GOsC is one of the bodies to which whistleblowing concerns can be reported.

Any employee with an osteopathy-related concern about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing in their organisation can come to us if they feel unable to raise it with their employer.

Our policy describes the sorts of concerns that we will treat as protected disclosures, explains how to report concerns and how we will act on them, and lists some sources of further advice. We made updates to the policy in January 2023 following a general review of our Whistleblowing Policy in 2022. The updated policy includes practical changes to make it more accessible to those seeking to raise a concern with us.

We originally consulted on a draft of the policy in 2014, setting out how we would handle concerns raised by whistleblowers. After studying the consultation responses, we made some minor changes to the policy – for example, to stress that it is best where possible to raise concerns with us openly rather than anonymously.

Reporting concerns to the GOsC should be seen as a last resort. Any employee should feel able to raise concerns directly with their employer.

Whistleblowing disclosures report 2023

Since April 2017 all professional healthcare regulators are required to publish an annual report on the whistleblowing disclosures made to them. The Whistleblowing disclosures report 2023 has been jointly published by the health and social care regulators.