DDU concerned about GDC's continued failure to meet all the standards of good regulation

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) says that to safeguard the health of dental professionals, the GDC must take concerted action to reduce the amount of time taken to process fitness to practise decisions.

This comes as the regulator was found in a review last month to have failed to meet the standard for the timeliness of fitness to practise cases. The Professional Standards Authority's review found the GDC was still taking too long to deal with cases and there had been no improvement on this since the previous year.

However, the DDU said it welcomes the GDC's updated guidance on professional indemnity cover, which comes into effect in February 2024.

John Makin, head of the DDU, explained:

"This is the sixth year in a row that the regulator has found the GDC is not meeting the standard for timeliness of fitness to practise cases. That is not good enough and the GDC must do more to improve its performance.

"The DDU is aware of a number of dental professionals caught up in protracted investigations. Not only are these delays highly stressful for individual members; they are not in patients' interests, particularly at a time when there are gaps in provision.

"We have raised this issue repeatedly with the GDC and hope 2024 will be the year when we see real improvement in this area. We also call on the government to play its part by publishing long awaited legislation, which will allow the GDC to modernise and become a more flexible regulator.

"Meanwhile, we are pleased the GDC's latest guidance on professional indemnity cover not only reiterates the basic requirement for dental professionals to have access to adequate indemnity in the event of a claim, but also that colleagues consider the level of support they could themselves expect.

"No one should have to face such stressful life events alone, and the reason the DDU exists is to support members facing a whole range of dento-legal issues, including claims and regulatory action."

This page was correct at publication on 02/01/2024. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.