Changes at the GDC leading to ‘better protection of the public’

William Moyes speaking at the GDC conferenceChanges over the last three years at the General Dental Council (GDC) has lead to better protection of the public.

That’s according to GDC chair, William Moyes, addressing attendees at the regulator’s conference this year – Moving upstream.

He highlighted positive changes at the organisation, but warned that realising the full impact of these changes will take time.

Shifting the Balance has clearly had a great positive impact on our work,’ Mr Moyes said.

‘We’ve received widespread support for a range of elements introduced.

‘And these are leading to greater efficiencies and greater results in the way we achieve our goal of public protection.

‘But we can’t rest on our laurels.

‘We’re experiencing a changing environment in dentistry with regular new challenges.

‘Our new strategy Right time, right place, right touch will therefore be fundamental to meeting these challenges.’

Mick Armstrong, second from right, addressing delegates

GDC told to ‘keep up’

Delegates told the dental regulator to ‘keep up’ with the rate of innovation within the dental profession.

During panel sessions held throughout the day, opinion leaders gave their thoughts to the GDC on various aspects of dentistry.

Vinay Chavda, an academic clinical researcher, touched on the constantly changing environment within dentistry and how regulation is causing deskilling and defensive dentistry.

Touching on the changes made at the GDC, Mick Armstrong, chair at the BDA, said: ‘Healing is slow.

‘But we could do more to promote the positive changes that have been made (at the GDC).

‘Underlining this is that we nurture young graduates through university, through their first year of foundation training.

‘Then we release them into the most hostile environment in the practising world.

‘The BDA is determined to work with the NHS to improve the dental contract.

‘We’re determined to work with the regulator to get right touch regulation.

‘But please be aware we will challenge where things we think are not being achieved.

‘Working together is certainly the way forward.’

John Makin, centre, speaking to GDC delegates

Right touch

The GDC received praise for its commitment to ‘right-touch regulation’ during the conference.

During one of the panel discussions, Mark Stobbs from the Professional Standards Authority, outlined the challenges all regulators face with outdated legislation.

However, delegates highlighted the conference as an example of attempts by the GDC to achieve right-touch regulation within dentistry.

‘Between 2015 and 2018, there’s been a 46% drop in the number of concerns directly through the GDC’s door,’ John Makin, head of the DDU pointed out.

‘That means better signposting for patients to go to the most appropriate body to deal with their issues.

‘Once you’re in the GDC “sausage machine” it’s very difficult to come out the other end.

‘The fact that there has been a significant drop is evidence of right touch and evidence of the results of right touch.

‘The introduction of case examiners I believe is a genuine attempt to improve proportionality.’

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