Regulatory reform: GDC welcomes direction of travel but highlights room for improvement

16 June, 2021

We welcome the Government’s proposals for reform of healthcare professional regulation, but we are calling for greater flexibility and a faster pace of reform.  

We have repeatedly expressed frustration about legislation which is too detailed and inflexible to meet modern needs, and which undermines our ability to operate an effective and efficient regulatory system. We support the more responsive approach to regulation these proposals will bring about and recognise the need to ensure effective accountability. 

But we urge the government to be more ambitious in its approach. In some areas the proposals are still very detailed - such as the defined process for all regulators to follow in fitness to practise investigations - and this risks locking regulators into a system which may work today but doesn’t have the adaptability it needs to respond to the needs of tomorrow. 

We also highlight concerns over the timetable and pace of reform.  

GDC Chair, Bill Moyes, said: 

“My biggest concern is the further delay to the reforms as a result of the government’s decision to review the number of healthcare professional regulators. We need more progress in reform, faster, and a clear timetable for delivery.” 

In forming its response to the consultation, the GDC met with over 100 stakeholders from across the sector, providing it with valuable and varied insights on the broad range of issues raised by the consultation. The GDC looks forward to seeing the timetable for reform and the consultation for draft dentistry legislation. 

Further information about the our work on regulatory reform, including detail on where we agree and disagree with current proposals, is available on our regulatory reform page.