The report gives details of the activities in 2015 and its aspirations for the year ahead as it seeks to move forward with the work outlined in its roadmap, Patients, Profession, Public and Performance.
The last 12 months saw the organisation undertake a fundamental review of how it is run. By making significant changes to the structure and its processes – with further changes to come – and through improved performance, it is striving to become a more effective and efficient regulator.
William Moyes, chair of the GDC said: ‘We are clear that our purpose is to protect patients. The last 12 months has seen us fundamentally change the way we work to prepare for further changes that lie ahead.
‘The year has been characterised by the groundwork needed for us to take forward our aspiration of becoming and more efficient and effective regulator. We have a real opportunity to embed a new culture and to get ahead of harm and prevent it so we have to spend less time and money on the very expensive business of reacting after the harm has been done.
‘The GDC wants to see a system of regulation that protects patients and the public, is proportionate and fair for registrants, transparent and cost-effective. This will involve working in partnership with the profession and others to extract and apply learning – not only when things go wrong – but also in relation to disseminating best practice, and innovative ways of working.
‘This new approach is better for the profession and for patients.
‘While we are focused on a new strategy, this annual report is a reflection of the continued commitment and effort of our staff, all the while putting the thoughts and building blocks in place for the changes that must come.’
Ian Brack, chief executive and registrar of the GDC said: ‘Our annual report is an opportunity to reflect on our achievements as well as our failings, so that we can learn from them and move forward.
‘Over the last year, there has been some real progress in all of the areas we are responsible for to better protect patients.
‘We have made improvements to the fitness to practise process, introduced a helpline to make it easier to raise concerns, quality assured the providers of dental education and jointly established the regulation of dental service programme board, working with organisations to improve regulation and to avoid duplication.
‘The organisation has faced the challenges – such as the two reports from the Professional Standards Authority – and is much stronger as a result.
‘To become an organisation which is cost effective, flexible and agile that the profession has confidence in, and where patients feel adequately protected is a long-term commitment.’
The report also sees, for the first time, the salaries of the executive team published, which is in line with other regulators and arm’s length bodies.