The GMC, complaints and whistleblowing
This chapter discusses the role of the General Medical Council (GMC), dealing with medical students' health problems and misconduct. Under the GMC's guidance on confidentiality: disclosure is necessary in the public interest where failure to disclose information may expose patient, or others, to risk of death or serious harm. The GMC has publicised plans for revalidation – a process occurring every five years after a doctor has qualified and continuing throughout their working life. The chapter also deals with doctors' professional misconduct and doctors' health problems, whistleblowing and the National Health Service (NHS) complaints system. Whistleblowing is a word for exposing healthcare professionals who are acting inappropriately within the workplace to the proper authorities, thereby preventing further harm to patients. Mistakes should always be investigated and rectified in order to safeguard other patients' care in the future. The legal responsibilities involved with clinical mistakes are no different from the personal responsibilities.