The General Dental Council (GDC) is increasing the annual retention fee (ARF) paid by dental professionals.
The Council has today agreed to set the Annual Retention Fee at £576 for dentists (next due by 31 December 2010) and £120 for DCPs (next due by 31 July 2011).
The Specialist Lists fee will now be £72.
The DCP increase is equivalent to £2 extra per month, the dentist increase is £11.50 extra a month.
Chair Alison Lockyer says: ‘We have looked very carefully at what it costs us to regulate dentistry. Costs include keeping our two registers, one for dentists and one for DCPs, up-to-date with people joining and leaving. The online registers are updated daily so people checking can be sure they have the latest information.
‘More significantly fitness to practise caseloads continue to grow and these costs are largely driven by allegations against dentists. Dental care professionals are now beginning to feature in FtP work too. Currently, the best information we have is that dentists account for at least 74 per cent of our costs and dental care professionals 26%.’
She adds: ‘As a dentist, I recognise that there are dental professionals who will be unhappy with this decision about the ARF. Our strategy commits us to protecting the public, regulating the dental team. It also commits us to ensuring value for money and we will do all we can to continue to use our resources efficiently and effectively.’
The GDC says there willbe pressure placed on resources, including:
* A 40% rise in fitness to practise (FtP) case load overall
* An increase in hearings. 178 cases were referred to a practice committee in 2009 in comparison to 164 in 2008
* The cost of legal and professional services now stands at more than £8 million.
* The GDC is also planning for Government-led initiatives like revalidation.
Interim chief executive and registrar, Ian Todd says: ‘The GDC’s first duty as a regulator is patient protection. However we also have a duty to provide a cost effective regulatory system. We’re looking hard at our systems and processes. Investment in IT will be one area for review once we have redesigned our processes. The GDC’s Strategy puts special emphasis on delivering value for money and all our staff are committed to delivering this on the ground.’
The GDC’s Annual Report and its 2010 business plan can be found at www.gdc-uk.org.