The General Dental Council (GDC) is asking registrants and the public to have their say on a change to the regulator’s rules allowing it to employ more Fitness to Practise panel members.
The Council must consult before it can increase its FtP panel member numbers as the increase requires a change to the Council’s Constitution of Committees Rules 2009.
FtP panel members sit on public hearings, which are the final stages of investigations into dental professionals.
Panel members will be asked to make difficult decisions about whether the GDC should step in to set out how and if a dental professional should carry on working.
In the last year alone, the GDC’s Fitness to Practise caseload has risen by 40%.
While this trend of increasing numbers of complaints is not unique to the GDC, the regulator is determined to tackle it head on.
The GDC is focusing resources in this area as a priority to speed up the process and one way it is doing this is to recruit 50 new Fitness to Practise panel members.
The consultation is available on the GDC’s website at www.gdc-uk.org and will run until 22 October 2010.