Dental Protection has welcomed further improvements by the General Dental Council (GDC) that aim to reduce the impact on those subject to investigations, improve case progression, and make best use of limited resources in the absence of regulatory reform.
The GDC announced that it will close cases that mirror an investigation that is being carried out by another authority, and that it will not automatically open cases for matters referred to the GDC from the NHS, where the NHS is either investigating or managing the issues locally. The GDC is also reviewing and closing some older cases, those where there is no realistic prospect of establishing that a dental professional’s fitness to practise is impaired, following review and approval of the Registrar.
Yvonne Shaw, Deputy Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “We have long made the argument that reform to professional regulation is needed and we welcome the announcement by the GDC about the reforms they plan to introduce. The extent to which these reforms can make a positive impact for dentists and dental care professionals depends on the detail of how they are implemented and we look forward to working with the GDC on this.
“There are other areas where the GDC could make further progress and we continue to urge the GDC to take these forward. These include improvements to the tone of communications, IOC sanctions, decision making and decision timelines in Fitness to Practise processes.
“We also continue to campaign for the government to publish a timescale for reforming the GDC’s out of date legislation. The Dentists Act 1984 is now nearly 40 years old and sets out in prescriptive detail some of the ways in which an investigation should proceed. We believe that significant progress could be made with legislative reform including by giving the GDC more discretion to close cases sooner.”
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About Dental Protection
Dental Protection is a registered trademark and a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.
Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.