A damning review of the work of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) underlines the way the organisation has failed dentists across England, the British Dental Association (BDA) has said.
The report, published today by the House of Commons Health Select Committee, criticises the distortion of CQC’s priorities by a statutory deadline to register dentists and brands as ‘astonishing’ that it could ever have been considered sensible for small dental practices to be subjected to the same processes as large hospitals.
Mirroring concerns expressed by the BDA in its evidence to the review, the report argues CQC must accept responsibility for its poor handling of registration.
It also says that the balance between compliance and registration activity will remain an issue for CQC and challenges the agency to demonstrate it is prioritising the former in order to maintain the confidence in it.
Dr John Milne, chair of the BDA’s general dental practice committee, said: ‘This report is a damning indictment of the debacle that has been the registration of dentists by the Care Quality Commission.
‘It reflects the BDA’s own criticisms, pointing to flaws in the timing and methodology of dental registration, and begs serious questions about a farcical process that dentists have been forced to endure.
‘The BDA has campaigned throughout this process for the myriad flaws inherent in the system to be addressed and for Government to apologise to dentists for the stress and difficulties that have been suffered. It’s time for that long-overdue apology to be made.
‘The magnitude of the problems the report highlights and the effect they have had on dentists should not be underestimated. Dentists have told us that the experience of CQC registration has led many of them to seriously consider their futures in dentistry. That is a sad reflection on an ill-conceived and woefully flawed process.’
The House of Commons Health Select Committee Report is available at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmhealth/1430/1430.pdf.