An annual report on whistleblowing disclosures included nine cases to the General Optical Council in the 12 months between April 2020 and March 2021.

The report, which included seven other healthcare regulators, found that all nine disclosures were placed into the GOC’s fitness to practise triage system for formal assessment.

Of the nine, four were closed with no further action taken; these included one case that was resolved locally with the employer, two where the discloser disengaged from the process and the GOC decided there was insufficient information to progress, and one that was referred to NHS England.

In five cases, the GOC opened fitness to practise proceedings. These included three ongoing investigations, one that was closed following legal advice that the GOC did not have jurisdiction to pursue and one was closed after the discloser disengaged with process.