General Dental Council welcomes PSA report
11 February 2013

General Dental Council welcomes PSA report

The General Dental Council welcomes the findings of an independent inquiry which rejects allegations that the GDC failed in its statutory duties.
The inquiry by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care was conducted in response to concerns raised by the former GDC Chair, Alison Lockyer who stepped down in May 2011. Its report has been published on its website today (11 February 2013).
Following a thorough investigation which began in September 2011, the report rejects the allegations made against the GDC and its staff. It found that, while there were weaknesses in the GDC’s governance and fitness to practise processes during 2009 to early 2011, the GDC did not fail patients then, and is on the right track now.
The report states: “We do not consider, based on the evidence, that the GDC has failed or is failing to carry out its statutory functions.” (6.7)
The PSA states that the new executive management team, the new Chair and the Council ‘are working together effectively to improve the governance and the performance of the GDC”.  (6.13)    
The report makes important recommendations for improvements in governance, many of which the GDC has already implemented.
Chair Kevin O’Brien said:
“We welcome the findings of the PSA’s report and the opportunity to draw a line under this matter. We will review all aspects of the report to ensure we are acting on any lessons to be learnt and we are very pleased that the PSA gives a clear endorsement of reforms we have already introduced.  We continue to be focused on our core task of protecting patients.”
No further statement will be made.



Notes to editors:

The investigation focused on the following principal themes:
• The concerns raised by Alison Lockyer about the GDC’s governance, including the GDC executive’s approach to managing internal disputes between itself and others.
• The fairness and proportionality of the processes adopted by the GDC in handling the two matters that were raised about Alison Lockyer while she was Chair of the GDC.
Key findings:
• The PSA states: “The GDC has undertaken a considerable amount of work since Evlynne Gilvarry took up her post in October 2010. An executive management team has been appointed to provide consistent senior leadership within the organisation. A full review of the fitness to practise function has been completed, which has identified improvements that have been implemented, will shortly be implemented, or that are long term initiatives.” (3.282)
• The PSA stated “We are confident that the GDC has taken steps to improve its governance arrangements and that it is in a good position to move forward and improve its performance.” (3.299)
• The PSA states: “We consider that a significant amount of work has already been carried out by the GDC to improve the quality of the support available to the Investigating Committee as well as the quality of its decision-making”.