GDC’s Fitness to Practise improvements start to show results
A raft of changes, introduced by the General Dental Council (GDC) to improve the handling of complaints against dental professionals, is already having a positive impact.
Some key measurements show the progress made between 2010 and 2011:
- More cases overall, are being concluded – 18% increase (1,415 vs 1,199).
- Cases are being investigated more quickly – 11% decrease in the time taken to get a case to Investigating Committee.
- The number of cases awaiting a hearing is decreasing – 13.5% decrease in 2011 (164 to 142).
- The number of cases awaiting a hearing which have been waiting for longer than 9 months is decreasing – 29% decrease (from 72 to 51).
The aim of the changes, brought in last year, is to improve the quality and speed of complaints handling to ensure patients are protected effectively, and they include:
- Increasing the number of decision meetings and hearings aimed at clearing a backlog of cases and reducing delays;
- Fast tracking the most serious cases and dealing proportionately with all other cases;
- Seeking clinical advice at the outset of particular cases in order to ensure proportionate handling.