GDC to pilot local handling of dental performance concerns

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The General Dental Council (GDC) has launched a new pilot scheme that could help to reduce its workload by delegating the handling of performance concerns to local NHS organisations.

Currently, both the GDC and the NHS are able to take action against dentists when concerns about performance arise. The regulator generally handles complaints, but it believes that some could be handled by the NHS locally, rather than through its fitness to practise processes.

“The General Dental Council is launching a pilot scheme that would allow the handling of performance concerns about dentists to be handled locally in some cases.“

As such, the new pilot will explore the full potential of allowing certain cases to be handled, where appropriate, by the local NHS in England, rather than by the GDC. This approach will involve the GDC working with five NHS England Local Area Teams over 12 months.

It is hoped that this will lead to a more proportionate and efficient approach in dealing with performance management issues, while allowing smaller cases to be tackled locally and allowing the GDC to utilise its funding more efficiently.

Evlynne Gilvarry, chief executive and registrar of the GDC, said: "The scheme has the potential to enable the GDC to focus more of its resources on cases where patients are at risk because the dentists' fitness to practise may be impaired."

The GDC has been struggling to manage its fitness to practise workload in recent months, resulting in the regulator implementing a highly controversial increase in its annual retention fee to cover the costs.

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