Dental Protection has said the ongoing delay to GDC reform is “frustrating and disappointing” and has called on the Government to commit to a specific timetable for improving dental regulation.
The call follows an update on Friday, which confirmed the priority for regulatory reform – which covers all regulated professions – would be Physician Associates and Anaesthesia Associates, followed by wider reform of the General Medical Council, then reform of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). There is no legislative timetable beyond this, but DHSC has indicated that they will prioritise delivery of regulatory reform based on criteria including the size of registrant base, the need for reform, and regulators’ readiness to implement the changes.
Even if GDC reform were to follow immediately after reform of the NMC, it seems very unlikely that it would come before the next general election, according to Dental Protection.
Deputy Director at Dental Protection, Yvonne Shaw, said: “Dental Protection has long argued for reform to the legislative framework that underpin the GDC. Vital changes to the 1984 Dentists Act, are seriously overdue. The Act remains outdated, requiring the regulator to conduct some of its operations in ways that are not always in the best interests of patients or professionals.
“The fitness to practise investigation process is an area in particular need of reform. This would enable the regulator to streamline its processes, improve efficiency, and reduce the number of investigations into less serious allegations, requiring the conclusion of investigations in a timely manner.
“The ongoing delay and uncertainty on GDC reform is frustrating and disappointing. We will continue to urge the DHSC to treat GDC reform as a priority. We are also calling on the Government to commit to a specific timetable for dental reforms, as soon as possible.”
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.