Whistleblowing helpline and website for doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) has opened a helpline for doctors who wish to blow the whistle, following claims that doctors who speak out risk losing their jobs.

The hotline is aimed at doctors who wish to raise serious concerns about patient safety but feel unable to do so at a local level.

The service was launched after a doctor who spoke out about unsafe practices in the paediatric unit where Baby P was examined claimed whistleblowers are inadequately supported by the NHS.

Last year, consultant paediatrician Dr Kim Holt said the NHS is still “too dangerous” for staff who blew the whistle.

She claimed they risk “losing their job if an employer decides that is what they need to do to keep the truth out of the public domain” and have “nowhere to go” for adequate support or protection.

“Whistleblowers should be championed in the health service, not served with gagging clauses and compromise agreements to make problems go away, ensure targets are met and allow employment lawyers to get paid,” she added.

The new helpline and online service will be staffed by trained advisers who will pass information on to the GMC for investigation.