The General Dental Council is reminding registrants that there is guidance and support available if they have concerns about another health professional’s fitness to practise.
Its ‘Principles of Raising Concerns’ can be downloaded from the GDC’s main website alongside a more detailed advice sheet which has a step by step guide about what to do.
This states: ‘If you are worried about something dangerous or illegal affecting (or which could affect) other people, and are raising awareness of it in order to protect vulnerable individuals and so that others can deal with it, you are raising a concern.
Raising a concern is different from making a complaint.
When someone makes a complaint, they may be expected to prove their case. When you raise a concern, you should not be expected to prove the malpractice you are concerned about.’
• Take immediate or prompt action
• Protect patient confidentiality
• Keep an accurate record of concerns and actions taken
Step by step guide
Stage 1 – Check your workplace’s policy
Stage 2 – Raise your concern internally
Stage 3 – Escalate your concern internally
Stage 4 – Escalate your concern to a regulator
Stage 5 – Raise or escalate your concern externally – going public
Support and advice
There may be times when you are not sure whether to raise concerns about practices or behaviour.
There are a number of possible sources of help including:
• Your professional association
• Public Concern at Work http://www.pcaw.org.uk/
• Your employer
• Your dental defence organisation
You can also contact other organisations, if appropriate, such as the Health and Safety Executive or another healthcare regulator.
To contact the GDC:
Phone: 0845 222 4141 (UK local rate)