The GDC committee’s sanctions not punitive?
…Could have fooled me! I have just seen a case arriving at the GDC against an RDN that carried out some impressions on a friend and did some tooth whitening in 2009! Now, I am not going to embarrass this registrant by naming them and I really feel for her, but some may argue that this person transgressed the rules and it should be dealt with.
Agreed, but perhaps this is where the GDC committees unfortunately fall foul in my eyes. They serve to protect the public and this is right and proper, and the sanctions they give are not seen as punitive and serve again, to protect the public.
Let us look at what we know about this case:
The charges revolve around the illegal acts of impression taking and whitening, which with regards to Scope of Practice, fall outside those laid by the GDC. We need to know at this stage; did the public come to harm? Based on what the charges revolve around, my guess is no.
It appears that this was carried out on a friend and may well be a case of ‘grudge’ reporting, that is, someone found out about it and then reported it because they did not like the registrant whose Fitness to Practice is being questioned.
This is complete and utter hearsay on my part and it is not founded on anything more than a hunch; but it smacks of it.
The question put to the committee is ‘is the registrants Fitness to Practise impaired?’ Given that this appears to be a one-off incident and happened over two years ago, how can this question be answered?
The question should be ‘is the registrants Fitness to Practise impaired now?’
Perhaps the question should have been answered at the Investigating Committee stage?
The PCC hearing is scheduled for three days. It costs an estimated £15k a day to hold a hearing (this is the costs of all involved) and my simple math ability make this £45k. The sanctions available to the Committee are: Erasure, surely not in this case; does the registrant CURRENTLY pose a threat to public safety? The other options available after this can only serve a punitive function surely; then comes suspension, possibly, but for how long and for what purpose? How could the public interest by a suspension? Conditions; I’d like somebody to suggest some. Surely only a warning?
Now, I have heard nothing about this case, know nothing, do not know the registrant in question, support the GDC in its protection of the public role but hey…
It is possible that there is much more to this than first meets the eye and I hope as a registrant that this is the case. I really do hate the thought of a fellow DCP being dragged through the trauma of a hearing just to be given a warning. There are possibly those out there reading this thinking ‘But for the grace…’ and hoping no one has reported them for similar infringements.
With all the above in mind, but in the absence of any of the evidence, I can only suggest that any sanction by the PCC will be a punishment against the registrant for her actions two years ago. There does not appear at face value, that this registrant poses a current threat to patient safety. There is either much more to this than meets the eye or the GDC FtP department and indeed the Investigating Committee really have lost the plot.
Not punitive? Yeah right.