regulationThe Department of Health and Social Care says it will change regulators’ fitness to practise processes and operating framework.

The changes will aim to deliver:

  • Modern and efficient fitness to practise processes
  • Better support for professionals
  • More responsive and accountable regulation.

It’s hoped these changes will provide powers to handle FtP cases in a more ‘responsive and proportionate manner’.

‘We have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care for some time on these proposals,’ a spokesperson for the General Dental Council (GDC), said.

‘We welcome the response.’

‘Antiquated’ legislation

The move to update fitness to practise legislation has been welcomed by many indemnity organisations around dentistry.

Legislation has previously been described as ‘antiquated‘ with the GDC campaigning for an update.

‘We welcome the government’s undertaking to provide the GDC with powers to amend its procedures,’ a DDU spokesperson said.

‘FtP processes need to be more responsive and proportionate.

‘We agree the GDC should be able to make a decision on a case without a panel hearing, if appropriate.

‘It is good to see the government recognise that the current system is bureaucratic and time consuming.

‘Currently it is stressful for most dental professionals and it has been clear for a long time the GDC needs the power to amend the FtP procedures in a more efficient way.

‘There will need to be safeguards and the GDC will needs to continue to consult widely with organisations like the DDU.’

Reforming regulation

DH launched a consultation in 2017 to seek views on reforming the regulation system for healthcare.

Titled Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation, the consultation proposed a model of regulation that will:

  • Secure public trust
  • Improve clinical practice
  • Adapt to developments in healthcare.

‘The regulation of healthcare professionals must change in order to protect patients, to support the transformation of our healthcare services and to meet future challenges,’ the consultation said.

‘It needs to be faster, simpler, better and less costly.

‘This consultation considers what reforms are needed across the UK healthcare regulatory system in order to support workforce development while maximising public protection in a more efficient way.’


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