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GDC standards Q&A - Principle 9 - Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients’ confidence in you and the dental profession

Post date: 19/09/2014 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 25/10/2019

Standard 9.1.2 says that I must not make disparaging remarks about another member of the dental team. What is meant by this?

If you are disparaging about someone or something, or make disparaging comments about them, you are effectively undermining their credibility by expressing a poor opinion about them.

This Standards guidance is designed to raise the awareness of professionalism in the dental team and any remark designed to undermine the patient’s confidence in another member of the dental team (in your practice or elsewhere) will be seen as reducing the standing of the profession in the patient’s eyes, and liable to criticism.

This standard links with 1.3.1 (acting with honesty and integrity) and 1.3.2 (not bringing the profession into disrepute)

A disparaging remark might refer to an individual’s demeanor or attitude at work or it might refer to the quality of dental care the patient has received prior to seeing you. In these circumstances you need to be mindful of 1.7.1 (put patient’s interests first at all times).

When describing a patient’s current condition, particularly at a new patient consultation, whether you are a dentist or DCP, you must ensure that any remarks explaining the condition of their dental tissues are neutral, accurate, factual and dispassionate.

It would be helpful to document in the records, or in a letter to the patient enclosing a treatment plan, a concise summary of the current condition of the mouth in layman’s language for the patient. In particular, it is often helpful to note the questions the patient might have asked you, and an indication of your response.

I understand that I must now inform the GDC immediately if I have been subject to the fitness to practise (FTP) procedures of another healthcare regulator, either in the United Kingdom or abroad. What other healthcare regulators does this mean?

The list would include any other national Dental Council or Board that acts as a professional regulator and the General Medical Council. This list would not include CQC as they do not investigate FTP issues.

« Principle 8 - Raise concerns if patients are at risk

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