Word of Mouth: Online Patient and Public Panel

Date: 20 July, 2015
The Francis report into the failings of the mid-Staffordshire NHS trust, published in February 2013, emphasised the needs for health regulators to put in place more effective mechanisms for listening to patients and obtaining feedback. The Keogh report (2013) underlined this, noting the importance of engaging with patients about improving services.
In August 2014, the GDC set up the Patient and Public panel, as part of its response to these reports. The panel, the first of its kind in healthcare professional regulation provides a distinctive patient and public voice about dentistry and dental regulation.
The panel has over 5000 dental patients and members of the public. Panel members are broadly representative of the UK and stratified by various factors including NHS/private treatment, regular/irregular attenders, gender, age, socio-economic status etc. Panel members are asked to take part in research depending on their individual suitability for each specific project.
Finding and insights are drawn upon by the GDC in developing regulatory policy and  reported back to the panel and to patients and registrants. You can read details of the panels work to date below:  
GDC Patient and Public Panel Projects to date:
First Panel Survey August 2014 
This survey was carried out concurrently with recruitment and collected basic demographic, attitudinal and behavioural information as well as attitudes towards regulation and quality of dentistry.
Recent Dental Appointments Survey April 2015 
This survey looked at panel members’ recent dental experiences, in terms of satisfaction, quality of care, and expectations. Those who had a planned appointment (eg. checkup), unplanned appointment (eg. emergency appointment) and those attending with a child were asked to participate.
Recent Dental Appointments Summary Report 2015
This report summarises the two waves of surveys carried out in 2015, regarding panel members' recent dental experience. The report highlights particular patient experiences that are of relevance to standards principles 1, 2 and 3 from  standards for the dental team.
GDC Duty of Candour February 2016 
​The GDC carried out a consultation with the patient panel  to inform the development of the Duty of Candour guidance. The guidance sets out the behaviours and values expected of dental professionals when things go wrong with dental treatment or care. This report summarises the main findings from the two patient panel consultations held in London and Glasgow in February 2016.


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