GDC to receive powers to streamline complaints handling

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The General Dental Council (GDC) has welcomed the announcement of new powers that will help it to investigate dental complaints more effectively.

New powers enabling changes to the way the GDC carries out its fitness to practise proceedings have been announced by the Department of Health, with the reforms set to come into effect next April.

“The General Dental Council is to receive new powers to streamline its ability to investigate dental complaints.“

The changes will improve the efficiency of fitness to practise processes, enabling swifter investigation of complaints and allowing the GDC to appoint case examiners with powers to decide cases at an earlier stage than at present.   

These examiners will also be able to agree undertakings - effectively imposing conditions on practice - with dental professionals under investigation, when this is deemed proportionate and consistent with public protection.

Other measures include a power to review a closed case where it is in the public interest, when the decision may be flawed or where new information comes to light.

Evlynne Gilvarry, chief executive and registrar of the GDC, said: "We welcome these new powers as a first, important step in modernising our fitness to practise processes and we will continue to make the case for more fundamental reforms in the interests of patients and professionals."

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