The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised a proposal to increase the regulatory powers the NHS has over the dental profession.
The association is taking issue with the practicality of having an employer acting as a regulator. It also points out that the majority of dentists are not employed by the NHS anyway, but practise privately.
A BDA spokesperson said: ‘There is certainly no evidence that the NHS has been successful in the past in detecting poor practice across the professions.’
The BDA comments were in response to the recent publication of The Regulation of Non-Medical Healthcare Professionals, a Department of Health (DoH) report.
Another of the publication’s proposals, to maintain the number of dental profession regulators, has been welcomed by the BDA. In response, it came out singing the praises of the General Dental Council (GDC).
The BDA said: ‘The retention of the GDC as an independent body, comprising a mix of professional and lay members, is seen by the dental profession as fundamental to setting and helping to improve standards, as well as protecting the public.
‘The GDC has been an effective regulator and its effectiveness has been strengthened significantly over the course of the past 10 years.’
Speaking out about the proposals, Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA’s executive board, said: ‘The BDA supports robust regulation of dentistry to ensure high professional standards and to protect the public, and we believe the General Dental Council has proved it can adapt and serve as a highly effective regulator.
‘But some of these proposals are in danger of undermining the dental profession’s confidence in the system.’