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GDC makes leaflets patient-friendly

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The General Dental Council has launched more accessible versions of its patient information.

The ‘Smile EasyRead’ patient information leaflet explains the role of the GDC; what patients can expect at their visit to a dental professional; and what they can do if they’re unhappy with their experience.

It features larger font, pictures to support and help explain the text, shorter sentences and language that sounds natural when spoken. The PDF is compatible with screen readers with tagged images and can be printed or ordered from www.gdc-uk.org.  The final version was user checked by the Making it Easier Group which gave its seal of approval to the leaflet.

The GDC established a register of Special Care Dentistry specialists in 2008. Special Care Dentistry is concerned with improving the oral health of individuals and groups in society who have a physical, sensory, intellectual, mental, medical, emotional or social impairment or disability or, more often, a combination of these factors.

Sukina Moosajee, the most recent registrant on the GDC's Special Care Dentistry specialist list and a Locum Consultant in Special Care Dentistry at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Smile EasyRead is comprehensive and easy to understand. It will help raise awareness among vulnerable patients and their carers about the standards of care they should be receiving from the dental team."

Alison Keens, head of Nursing and Therapies - Adults with Learning Disabilities at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said: 'People with learning disabilities need information to be provided in an accessible format.  This excellent document will enable more people with learning disabilities to have a better understanding of and make more decisions about their own dental care.”

As well as EasyRead, Smile is available in print in Plain English, online in Welsh, Bengali, Chinese, Punjabi and Urdu, and as online audio files in English.

Dental professionals can also access audio and Large Print versions of the GDC’s ‘Standards for dental professionals’, as well as accessible continuing professional development and employment advice.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar Evlynne Gilvarry said: 'We are committed to providing accessible information and services. We want all patients to be aware of what they should expect from their dental professional and  how we can help if something goes wrong.'

You can order free copies of Smile and Smile EasyRead, and download translations and audio files from the GDC website: www.gdc-uk.org

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