Your opportunity to feedback on our proposals for important changes to guidance

05 April, 2023 by Lord Toby Harris

I have a firm belief that listening to feedback from stakeholders is essential to make sure that an organisation understands different views and takes that thinking into account when setting its own direction and proposals.

The GDC is no different, and in March we brought forward two additional sets of proposals about guidance, following on from the Scope of Practice proposals in February, and we encourage you to review and respond to all three.

Why is it important for you to give your views

I often talk about the fact that the GDC regulates the whole dental team – and I’m also mindful that the oral healthcare team extends beyond this to include roles that aren’t regulated. Understanding everyone’s roles and boundaries is important to promote team working that delivers the best patient care. This is why the Scope of Practice guidance is important. It aims to better support dental professionals to use their professional judgement to make decisions in the interest of their patients. Your views matter, and you have until 11 May to respond.

The information that dental professionals need to report to the GDC also matters, to ensure patient safety and public confidence. We’re not proposing to introduce new requirements, but we are looking to bring the guidance together into one place, to make it easier for dental professionals to know what they need to report to their regulator. This includes any concerns they may have about their own or another dental professional’s health, conduct, or performance that may risk patient safety or public confidence in the dental profession. They must also report any criminal or regulatory proceedings that they may be subject to. You have until 8 June to give us your views on how this guidance can be clear and effective.

We’re also proposing changes to our guidance on indemnity and insurance to ensure it is up to date and better supports dental professionals to understand and meet their legal and regulatory obligations. We aim to explain the different types of cover available and highlight the additional benefits that dental professionals should consider when arranging cover, such as advice and support for their wellbeing during a claim. Please give your views by 20 June.

An opportunity to give feedback on future regulatory reforms

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is consulting on regulations for the General Medical Council (GMC) that will apply to physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs). That may seem to have little to do with dentistry but the draft regulations contain proposals on fitness to practise, registration and fee setting which will, in the future, be the template for all regulators, including the GDC.  We (and our stakeholders) have a direct interest in the proposals so it is important that we respond to this consultation and we therefore urge stakeholders to review the DHSC’s consultation by 16 May.

The GDC’s thinking is being guided by our response to the DHSC’s reform proposals in 2021. We are continuing our own work to understand the implications of the draft legislation before we finalise and publish our response.  

Updated specialist list curricula now available

Finally, it’s been good to see the results of months of cross-sector collaboration result in publication of 12 of the 13 specialist list curricula. These were last reviewed more than 10 years ago, and long overdue an update to reflect clinical developments in each speciality. I’d like to echo the GDC’s thanks to the stakeholders involved, including the Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs), the four UK statutory Education Bodies and the associated Royal Colleges and Universities. 

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