Patients can now book directly with a dental hygienist or dental therapist who offers a direct access service.
At a meeting on 28 March 2013 the General Dental Council (GDC) voted to remove its barrier to direct access for some dental care professionals after considering the possible impact on patient safety.
In the past every member of the dental team had to work on the prescription of a dentist. This meant that patients had to be seen by a dentist before being treated by any other member of the dental team.
Following a detailed review of evidence, which had been gathered since 2011, and a full discussion, it was agreed this should change.
The most significant changes are for dental hygienists and dental therapists. Guidance for all DCPs and what this decision means for them can be found on the GDC website.
Information for patients can be found here.
It is important to remember that:
• All registrants must be trained, competent and indemnified for any tasks they undertake.
• All registrants must continue to work within their ‘Scope of Practice’ regardless of these changes.
• All registrants must continue to follow the GDC’s ‘Standards for Dental Professionals.’
In addition, the dental team is reminded that this decision does not make direct access mandatory. No dental care professional has to offer it.
More detail about how this decision was reached can also be found in the latest ‘View from the Chair’.
Dental professionals are encouraged to get in touch with the GDC if they have any questions.
UK local rate: 0845 222 4141
From London: 020 7887 3800
From abroad: +44 20 7887 3800