The GDC has issued advice to hospital dentists looking to take industrial action Tuesday 8 January.
Despite the British Dental Association (BDA) publicly backing the choice to take industrial action, many dentists have been left concerned over the reaction the General Dental Council (GDC) may have should dentists participate.
‘The decision to hold a ballot on industrial action is a matter for the BDA and its members; it is not for the GDC to advise dentists on how to vote,’ a GDC spokesperson told Dentistry.co.uk.
‘However, the BDA has asked the GDC to provide advice to dentists who may be considering taking industrial action and we are separately aware that some professionals would find it helpful to have our view about their responsibilities against GDC standards under these special circumstances.
‘Dentists will not find themselves at risk of regulatory action simply by having exercised their right to take lawful industrial action.
‘However, it is important that dentists who decide to take industrial action remember that they remain responsible for upholding the standards.
‘Specifically, they must continue to put patients’ interests first.
‘In this context, the GDC’s advice is that dentists should treat absence due to industrial action in the same way as other planned absence, taking steps to make sure that arrangements are in place for the care of their patients.
‘They should not interfere or disrupt arrangements that their employer makes for patient care during their absence.
‘In addition dentists are reminded to adhere to the GDC’s guidance on the use of social media at all times’