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Whistleblowing has been defined as the raising of a concern, either within the workplace or externally, about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing which affects others. Whilst the concern will have originated in the workplace, it can be raised either internally through channels laid down by the employer or externally with a recognised body, such as the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). The law sets out several criteria that must be met for the concern to be covered by whistleblowing legislation. 

Concerns about a chiropractor’s practice that are raised by members of the public or patients are not classed as whistleblowing. More information for patients and the public who wish to raise concerns can be found here.

Whistleblowers are protected by UK legislation and the GCC is a recognised body to which whistleblowing concerns can be raised. Under the legislation, the GCC is referred to as a ‘Prescribed Person’.

If all of the conditions set out in the law are met, the person who is raising the concern has legal protections to stop them suffering any disadvantage from their employer because they raised a concern.

Under our whistleblowing policy, the GCC can only consider matters relating to our statutory functions:

  • the registration and fitness to practise of chiropractors registered with us; and 
  • any other activities that fall under the GCC’s function such as approval of courses at educational institutions or the operations of our Council.

Our role is to decide whether we believe a concern raised to us constitutes whistleblowing, and to take appropriate action. We will assess a concern raised to us as whistleblowing against the criteria and conduct a preliminary assessment.

We may need to contact you for further information in order to do so.

We will inform you of our decision and any relevant next steps.

The GCC cannot consider complaints under this policy relating to:

  • employment issues;
  • contractual disputes about business arrangements as part of providing chiropractic services such as room hire or partnership agreements;
  • disputes about providing chiropractic services within a certain locality or proximity to an existing chiropractor;
  • ownership of websites, domain names or other digital estates; or
  • complaints about soliciting patients/clients from another chiropractor or chiropractic practice.

Please refer to our Policy on raising concerns in the workplace (‘whistleblowing’) for more information. 

Since 2018, health and social care regulators have produced joint reports in relation to the number of whistleblowing concerns raised with them and what action they have taken.

You can read these reports below.

Joint Report 2018

Joint Report 2019

Joint Report 2020

Please note we encourage concerns to be raised internally within the workplace before approaching the GCC using the appropriate mechanisms as laid down by the employer. This is so the employer is given an opportunity to address the concern.

If you have raised your concern within the workplace and you are not satisfied with the response, or if you just don’t feel able to raise a concern with your workplace directly, please contact us. 

By telephone:            

0207 713 5155

By post:         

The Whistleblowing Officer

General Chiropractic Council

Park House

186 Kennington Park Road

London

SE11 4BT

By email: whistleblowing@gcc-uk.org 

If you are worried about your position or wish to get further advice about the law that protects whistleblowers, you can seek independent advice from:

Whistleblowing charity, Protect - 020 3117 2520

NHS and social care sector’s Whistleblowing Helpline - 0800 0724 725

We would always encourage you to seek advice before raising a whistleblowing concern. 

Information and resources

The Government has produced detailed guidance on whistleblowing which provides further information.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

Whistleblowing Commission – Code of Practice

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