DDU Says GDC Needs Powers to Reform FtP Process

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DDU calls for GDC to be given powers to reform fitness to practise process

The GDC has made some positive improvements in the way it regulates the profession but it must be given the powers needed to make further reforms, the Dental Defence Union (DDU), said today.

Responding to the GDC’s publication of its strategy for the next three years 2020-2022 strategy, Right time. Right place. Right-touch, head of the DDU, John Makin (above) said: “Regulators' investigations carry a stigma and generally those being investigated perceived them as punitive, even if that is not the purpose.

“The GDC’s welcome emphasis on learning from what goes wrong and sharing that learning in order to assist dental professionals to continue to practise safely is an approach that I’m sure will be widely appreciated.

“It’s reassuring that the GDC has been in discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the PSA and other regulators about the need to reform its powers to amend its procedures.

“The GDC has already made positive changes, such as amends to its website which have contributed to a reduction in the number of fitness to practise concerns overall and the introduction of triage and Case Examiners in fitness to practise (FTP) procedures.

“Being investigated is stressful for most dental professionals and it has been clear for a long time the GDC should be given the powers it needs to amend the FTP procedures in a more efficient way. With the right safeguards in place, this could make a real difference to our members.”

GDC Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski, said: “We welcome DDU’s support for the GDC’s work on regulatory reform. We are clear on the need for legislative change but that change is unlikely to come quickly.

“In the meantime, we are fully committed to making Fitness to Practise work as effectively as it can within the constraints of the current legislation. Our new strategy sets out our approach to continuous improvement over the next three years, and we describe this as Right time. Right place. Right-touch.”