DDU raises concerns over delays to GDC reform

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) says it is disappointed and frustrated by the news that the government is to once again delay long-promised plans to reform healthcare regulators.

The government has announced legislation to reshape the General Medical Council (GMC), which had been expected this year, will not take place until 2024/25. This in turn means reforms to the General Dental Council (GDC) will be even further delayed.

The DDU’s parent company, the Medical Defence Union (MDU), has coordinated a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay MP, which is signed by representatives of doctors’ trade unions and medical royal colleges. It calls on the government to reconsider the timetable for reform to avoid a broken promise.

Read the full letter here.

John Makin, head of the DDU, said:

"The news that the government has shelved long-awaited reforms of the healthcare regulators until 2024/25 at the earliest is disappointing, frustrating and surprising. Dental professionals across the UK have waited a long time to see their regulator reformed. It is a promise that must be honoured.

"A fitness to practise process is one of the most stressful experiences a dental professional can undergo in their career, and current legislation is crying out for change.

"Colleagues deserve a fitness to practise process that is modern, proportionate, timely and above all, fair. Currently, the GDC is operating under outdated legislation that disadvantages the profession, patients and the GDC itself.

"We all stand ready to work with the Department of Health and Social Care over the coming months to ensure the legislation can be published by the end of the year.

"It is time to move forward and deliver an up-to-date regulatory system. Regulation needs to deliver for dental professionals, so they can deliver for patients."

This page was correct at publication on 25/07/2022. 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.