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Interim Orders Committee guidance must be clear and comprehensive to avoid unnecessary conditions

Post date: 27/02/2023 | Time to read article: 3 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 27/02/2023

Dental Protection has welcomed proposed changes to the guidance used by the GDC’s Interim Orders Committee (IOC), but says refinements are needed to ensure the IOC has the most comprehensive information possible, when deciding on whether an interim order is necessary.

The IOC is a statutory committee of the GDC which considers whether it is necessary to make an interim order to restrict the individual’s practice pending final determination of the matter by the GDC. A decision can be made to impose an order if the IOC is satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of the public, or otherwise in the public interest, or in the interest of the individual concerned. The IOC can impose a suspension (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews), conditions (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews) or decide that no order is necessary. Having such an interim order imposed can have a very significant impact on dental professionals and it is therefore important that such orders are used appropriately and proportionately.

Responding to the GDC’s consultation on proposed revisions to its IOC guidance and Conditions Bank, Dental Protection said there was a need for the IOC to be provided with further and comprehensive details as to specific allegations against the dental professional, to help the IOC decide whether there is a risk to the public. It said this additional information would help to ensure the IOC assesses the risk to public safety consistently, proportionately and appropriately.

Dental Protection called for further refinements to allegations relating to clinical cases, lack of indemnity or insurance, failure to cooperate with an inquiry, sexual misconduct and violence, working beyond scope of practice, and concerns about the health of a dental professional.

The leading defence organisation also said further clarity was needed in the definitions used in the glossary of the IOC guidance, including in respect of the term ‘reviewer’, which is unclear and could refer to the registrant, supervisor or reporter. It said the glossary, guidance and the conditions bank provide important supporting literature and must be clear in order to facilitate appropriate decisions.

Dr Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection, said: “We support dental professionals with IOC processes and hearings day in day out. We see the impact these hearings have on their careers and wellbeing and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this important consultation.

“Dental Protection has strong teams of experts, with considerable experience of IOC processes, who have taken the time to review the proposed changes. While we broadly welcome the proposals, we have highlighted some key areas that require further refinement. The IOC must have comprehensive and clear guidance and supporting literature, in order to make appropriate decisions. Interim orders can have career changing implications for members, so we must get this right.

“While we welcome the proposed amendments to the IOC Guidance, we would also welcome the GDC reviewing the processes by which registrants are referred to the IOC in the first instance. We remain committed to working with the GDC on this matter.”

Dental Protection’s full response can be found here.  


For further information contact: [email protected].

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.

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