Michael Watson gives his thoughts on how the GDC should be reformed. Do you agree? Give us your thoughts and join our GDC reform campaign.
Its structure and functions
Since 2000 the GDC (General Dental Council) has changed out of recognition.
Back then most of its 50 members were dentists, of whom 18 were elected by the profession.
Since 2013 it has only 12 members, of which 12 are lay people.
It is headed for the first time by someone who is not a dentist.
These piecemeal changes have come about not through a dentists act, but by changes to regulations.
What is needed is wholesale reform, bringing all nine healthcare regulators under the same regime.
Whether it meets its performance standards
The GDC is itself supervised by a regulator, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This produces an annual performance review on all the nine regulators it supervises in July.
The most recent one shows that, especially in the field of fitness to practise, the GDC has consistently underperformed and in the last year its performance has deteriorated.
It is not fit for purpose and the Government needs to address this.
What lies behind the large increase in complaints in recent years?
The GDC says that claims against dentists have risen by a third in recent years and now stands at 3,500.
They have made no analysis of the reasons for this increase.
The chair, Bill Moyes, has said that the ‘exposure of failure and bad performance will not reduce, it will increase’.
Yet at the same time patients’ survey report high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive.
This inconsistency must be addressed urgently.
Tell us today how the General Dental Council should be reformed.
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- Or add your comment below.
Use the hashtag #GDCreform to get your points across.
Submit your 30-second video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up-to-date on everything happening with the GDC reform at www.dentistry.co.uk/gdc-reform-news.
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