Earlier this year the DH recognised the need for change to allow the GDC to streamline its fitness to practise processes and it is now welcoming your views.
By means of this order the GDC will be able to amend its current legislation (The Dentists Act 1984) allowing it to introduce:
- Case examiners to replace the Investigating Committee, which will reduce the amount of time taken to make a decision
- Provide the registrar with powers to review decisions to close cases and to refer cases to the Interim Orders Committee at any point in the process
- Provide a right to registrants to review the decision to issue a warning against them
- Allow the GDC – in specified circumstances – to agree with a registrant limitations on their practise in order to address any issues that have been raised (known as undertakings).
The GDC claims that the advantages of introducing case examiners would be an increase in the speed and agility with which decisions could be made – improving the process for both the registrants and patients involved.
The GDC also believes a Section 60 Order would enable the GDC to use its resources more efficiently as well as bringing an improvement in the consistency of decision-making.
The consultation opened recently and you can have your say here.
The GDC will be consulting in November on how it intends to use these new powers.