Alarm over ‘botched work’ by foreign dentists

Substandard foreign dentists are carrying out NHS work which then has to be corrected by UK trained consultants.

Chief Dental Officer Barry Cockcroft will raise the concerns at the next meeting of the General Dental Council, after government was warned of the poor patient care.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has urged health ministers to step in and ensure the quality of those receiving temporary registration from the GDC is monitored after being told of the ‘botched work’ which needs corrective procedures.

Mr Gummer said: ‘Dentists in Ipswich are increasingly concerned about having to put right work done by dentists from outside the UK who have received temporary registration from the General Dental Council, causing yet more cost to the NHS and trouble for those receiving care.’

‘You do not need to register with the GDC if you are coming in from elsewhere within the EU and for less than five years. Dentists are coming to me saying they are having to corrected bodged work by these dentists and work of a poor or old fashioned standard.’

In a letter to Mr Gummer, health minister Paul Burstow said he was ‘concerned’ to learn of the problems but that the Department of Health had no direct influence over the GDC.

However, he said the matter would be raised by CDO Barry Cockcroft.

Mr Burstow added: ‘The council’s work on revalidation will ensure that the work of those supervising foreign dentists and, where appropriate, foreign dentists themselves is properly covered.’

Mr Gummer concluded: ‘It looks like government will do something and I am pleased that government are going to raise the issue with the GDC. It is clearly concerning not only because patients are being offered and given a substandard service but at a time of limited resources on the NHS, it is having to pay out twice for work.’

A spokesperson for the BDA said: ‘Overseas-qualified practitioners who come to the UK to practise find themselves in a clinical environment that can be very different from that in other countries in which they have worked or gained their dental qualification.
 
‘It is vital that regulators have, and properly use, powers to check individuals’ qualifications and language skills before they are registered by the General Dental Council.
 
‘It is also important that practitioners are properly supported as they begin their work.’

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