Following a proposed increase in the annual retention fee (ARF) of 64%, dentists have turned to social media to express their concern after an advert (pictured) appeared in The Telegraph on 5 July 2014 advertising the complaints procedure against private dentists.
The GDC has released the following statement about the advertisement: 'The General Dental Council (GDC) launched a publicity campaign to promote the Dental Complaints Service (DCS) in May 2014.
'As part of this campaign an advert was placed in the Saturday magazine of The Telegraph on 5 July at a cost of £5,500.
'The campaign was aimed at addressing findings from annual surveys of patients and the public.
'Our 2013 patient and public survey showed that, of those who wished to raise a complaint, 27% were not sure whom to complain to.
'The campaign also sought to raise awareness of the DCS as a mechanism for handling complaints about private dental care, which does not involve issues of fitness to practise (complaints received by the DCS that do involve issues of fitness to practise are referred to the GDC’s fitness to practise function).'
The recent announcement of a proposed increase in the ARF has already created a huge response from the industry with around 11,000 people signing an e-petition asking the Government to review the GDC's ARF.
The GDC has declined to comment on the response from the industry about the ARF increase saying: 'We’re currently consulting on proposals to increase the ARF level.
'Once the consultation closes on 4 September we will be carefully considering all of the responses to the consultation, and the council will then make a decision on the ARF level.
'We aren’t able to comment on responses to the consultation whilst it is still open, however, we are encouraging all dental professionals to respond to the consultation via the website.
'The consultation document on the website sets out why we are proposing to increase the ARF level.'