Revalidation will slash dental patient numbers

Plans to introduce revalidation for dentists will reduce the number of patients seen.

That’s the verdict of the British Dental Association (BDA) outlined in its response to the General Dental Council’s (GDC) consultation on revalidation for dentists.

The response argues that the proposals are onerous, bureaucratic and inappropriate, and out of step with the GDC’s repeatedly expressed intention to develop a system which is proportionate.

Furthermore, it says that the evidence base for the proposals is unsound and that pilots for the proposals carried out in 2009 failed to cover a representative number of practitioners. It also calls for the proposals to be subjected to a full cost-benefit analysis.

Dr Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA’s executive board, says: ‘It is important that standards for professional revalidation in dentistry are transparent, consistent, and proportionate, and offer reassurance to patients.

‘The BDA supports measures that meet those criteria. We also agree with the view expressed by the Working Group on Non-Medical Revalidation that the intensity and frequency of revalidation must be proportionate to the risks inherent in the work a practitioner is involved in.

‘The BDA supports the work of the GDC as the regulator of dentistry in the UK, but we have some serious concerns about the proposals put forward in this consultation and the wider context in which they have been presented.

‘The circumstances confronting dentistry have changed since these proposals were initially mooted and it would be sensible to look at them again to assess the cost of changes and the benefits they might deliver. We would welcome the opportunity to input into that process.’

The BDA’s full response to the consultation can be accessed at www.bda.org/dentists/education/revalidation.aspx.

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