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Dental Protection successful in Judicial Review against the GDC

23 December 2016

A Judicial Review brought by Dental Protection has found that the General Dental Council (GDC) was wrong to deny a dental practitioner the right of review after receiving an unpublished warning.1

A recent change in legislation permits dental practitioners, who have been issued with a warning by the GDC’s Investigating Committee, the right to request a review of the warning if they believe it is flawed, provided it is made within two years.2 This means the dental practitioner is not forced to resort to a potentially lengthy and expensive Judicial Review in order to challenge the decision.

According to GDC guidance however, the change was not retrospective and did not apply to dental practitioners who were issued a warning between 14 April 2014 and when the new legislation came in to effect.

Dental Protection has argued successfully to a High Court that the change in legislation should have retrospective effect. This enables a practitioner who has received a warning in the past two years to request a review of a decision, provided the application is made within two years of the date of the warning.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director of Dental Protection said:

“Our success in challenging the way in which the GDC interprets its own rules will be beneficial not just to our members, but to the wider profession.

“We brought a Judicial Review against the GDC’s decision because we believe that the dental regulator must be fair and accountable in all its dealings. This case helped to protect an individual from damage, but significantly, the benefit of this decision will also apply for those who have received a warning after 2014 and before the law changed in April 2016.

“The risks involved for practitioners seeking a review of a decision are limited, because they cannot be referred to the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee as a result. This is good news for Dental Protection members and all the dentists practising in the UK.

“We are proud to say Dental Protection can support members in situations that arise unexpectedly and it is one of the many positive benefits of the discretion that underpins the membership we offer.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The final judgement in the case:
  2. Section 27(A)11 of the Dentist Act 1984 amended April 2016

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 together with the right to request indemnity for 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.

  • By Carolina Ferrera on 08 February 2017 09:54

    Well done, Dental Protection is money well spent !

    The GDC do not even have recent knowledge and do not comply with recent articles with regards to their warnings, they need to be challenged more often . 

  • By Tim Moody on 07 February 2017 06:43 About time someone took on the GDC and their 'unusual' world view. Well done.
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