A view from the Chair: Sharing perceptions with dental professionals

04 May, 2022 by Lord Toby Harris

It’s been good to meet more dental professionals this month. I recognise that delivering dental services remains challenging as the sector recovers from the pandemic and I appreciate people taking the time to meet me.

I met the British Dental Association (BDA) again at the beginning of April, where it’s always useful to understand the priorities for their members.

The GDC received the PSA’s performance review shortly afterwards. We welcomed their recognition of the work the organisation has undertaken to improve timeliness of fitness to practise where we can, taking into account our prescriptive and inefficient legislation. However, we agree that fitness to practise cases often take too long to resolve and we’re still committed to addressing this.

Sharing perceptions is very important

It was helpful to hear first-hand from dentists who are also board members of the British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD). We talked about how misunderstandings about the way we undertake our role, including fitness to practise cause concern and can influence how dental professionals practise, at all levels of their career.

Colleagues from the GDC presented at the NHS Education for Scotland conference this month, talking about our role in Scotland, particularly in a time of change in recent years. Our role in assuring education standards also featured in my conversation with the Dental Schools Council this month.

I enjoyed hearing from dental nurses from the Society of British Dental Nurses (SBDN) this month too.

Keeping the conversations going

Collaborative dialogue is a good thing. It helps our stakeholders to understand where we’re coming from when we’re delivering our statutory functions. It also helps us to know how to work with others in the sector to build recognition that proportionate regulation is a positive thing for both the professions and public confidence.

I’ll continue to meet with stakeholders to understand their issues, share our thinking and work together to tackle perceptions.

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