The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has expressed disappointment and dismay at a government announcement confirming that the General Dental Council (GDC) is not one of the healthcare regulators to be prioritised for reform.
A timetable has just been published by the Department of Health and Social Care on reforming healthcare professional regulators. The update confirms that along with the General Medical Council (GMC), the regulators to first benefit from reform will be the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The Department says this is based on, "criteria including the size of registrant base, the need for reform, and regulators' readiness to implement the changes." It says it will then make changes for the remaining regulators, including the GDC, although no timetable is provided for this.
John Makin, head of the DDU, said:
"It is disappointing that the Department of Health and Social Care has put the GDC well down the list of regulators that will be given the powers it needs to reform regulation.
"We've repeatedly pointed out that dental professionals across the UK deserve to know that if they face the stress of a fitness to practise investigation, their regulator will be working to a modern, proportionate, and timely process. Currently, the GDC is operating under outdated legislation that disadvantages the profession, patients and the GDC itself.
"Last year, the MDU, the DDU's parent company, coordinated a letter with other healthcare leaders to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on the government not to delay fundamental reforms needed to modernise the regulators.
"We urge the Department of Health and Social Care to publish the legislation needed to modernise dental professional regulation. A fitness to practise process is one of the most stressful experiences a dental professional can have in their career, and current legislation is crying out for change."
This page was correct at publication on 20/02/2023. 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.