Support during fitness to practise procedures

We recognise that our fitness to practise proceedings can be stressful and seem confusing. We want to do what we can to reduce this stress where possible. This involves:


  • Being clear about what to expect when engaging with our fitness to practise procedures – we will be publishing new guides for dental professionals and patients this year;

  • Ensuring we deliver the highest standard of customer care. We have developed a customer service charter that ensures our staff are clear about the standards of care our customers should expect; and

  • Signposting people who are interacting with fitness to practise procedures to expert organisations, if they require it. This commitment is set out in our three year road map, Patients, Professionals, Partners, Performance.


We have worked in partnership with Samaritans to train GDC staff involved in the fitness to practise process to ensure they have the skills to help recognise where an individual may need additional support.

Everyone going through fitness to practise procedures will have a named contact. If you are interacting with our fitness to practise process and feel you would benefit from additional support, you can discuss this with your named contact and they can advise you where best to find help.

We will keep information relating to health and wellbeing confidential in line with data protection legislation. We may share this information with other organisations who can offer support, but we will discuss this with you first before doing so.

Witnesses and informants should be aware that in limited circumstances we may need to disclose information to the registrant facing fitness to practise proceedings and if you have any questions about that then please raise them with your named contact. Registrants will appreciate that if there are any concerns about their health and wellbeing that may put patients at risk the information may be used in fitness to practise proceedings.

You can find information about organisations that can provide you with support below.


You can talk to Samaritans at any time about anything that is troubling you. Anything that is disclosed to Samaritans is completely confidential.

They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

Samaritans are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can contact Samaritans by:

Telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)

Email: [email protected]

Write to: Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA

Visit your local Samaritans branch. Find your local branch .

For more information visit


The BDA Benevolent Fund

The BDA Benevolent Fund is an independent charity for dentists – both past and present – to ensure that dentists do not go unsupported in times of need or crisis.

Every year they help people who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, unemployment or other adversity. They provide grants, interest-free loans and occasionally financial support with career transition. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis and the assistance they provide is tailored to each person's needs.

For further information, or to discuss an application in confidence, you can contact the BDA Benevolent Fund by:

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone: 020 7486 4994

Write to: BDA Benevolent Fund, 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS

For more information visit

 BDA Benevolent Fund.jpg


Dentists' Health Support Programme (DHSP)

DHSP provides dentists, dental care professionals and students with free advice and support on alcohol, drugs, eating disorders and other health issues. They offer students and dental professionals who are in difficulty an opportunity to remedy their problems.

If you are concerned about yourself or a colleague, you can contact DHSP by:

Telephone: 020 7224 4671

Email: [email protected]

For further information visit



Practitioner Health Programme

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP) is an award winning, free and confidential NHS service for doctors and dental professionals with issues relating to mental or physical health concerns or addiction problems, in particular where these might affect their work.

PHP is a service for doctors and dentists who are unable to access confidential care through mainstream NHS routes due to the nature of their role and/or health condition.

For confidential advice telephone: 020 3049 4505 or email: [email protected]

For further information visit


NHS Practitioner Health Programme.jpg 

Other resources

There are a number of other resources that you may find helpful:

• Witness advice

• Information Guide for Unrepresented Registrants (216.9 KB, PDF);

• Witness Information Guide (1.7 MB, PDF); and

• About the Witness Support Officer (33.1 KB, PDF).


We also have a number of informative videos relating to our hearing process that may be useful:

• What happens at a GDC hearing;

• The role that Fitness to Practise panel members play during a GDC hearing; and

• The role witnesses play during a GDC hearing.


Contact GDC

+44 (0) 20 7167 6000

37 Wimpole Street

London W1G 8DQ


Secure area for dental professionals