General Dental Council News
13 December 2017
Shifting the balance: consultation responses and next steps
The UK’s regulator of dental professionals, the General Dental Council (GDC), published Shifting the balance: The GDC’s response to your views and next steps today, marking a significant milestone in its strategy to reform dental regulation. – read more
11 December 2017
GDC STANCE ON HEP B VACCINE SHORTAGE
“I can confirm that given the national shortage of the Hep B vaccine, the GDC would not seek to impose any restrictions on those who have been unable to get the vaccine, this means that employers could take on new staff who have not been vaccinated as long as they are not currently infected.
If the staff member has had the testing to show they are not currently infectious/ a carrier of the disease, then they are not posing a risk to patients. However the risk remains for the staff member themselves of contracting the disease if they have not had the vaccine. This risk should be considered by both employer and employee, and it is their decision as to whether or not the individual accepts this risk. It would be helpful to contact occupational health teams for further advice and guidance during this national shortage.
Under normal circumstances, as per standard 1.5.2 of the standards for the dental team, all dental professionals must have all necessary vaccinations and follow guidance relating to blood-borne viruses. As you may be aware, the Department of Health sets the protocols for vaccinations for health professionals, rather than the GDC, and so we usually direct enquirers to the Department of Health’s document here – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/147882/Green-Book-Chapter-12.pdf“
24 November 2017
12 October 2017
The General Dental Council publishes a suite of support materials for Enhanced CPD
The General Dental Council (GDC) has published a series of guidance documents and templates for dental professionals, ahead of the launch of enhanced continued professional development (ECPD) next year. – read more
4 September 2017
Dental nurses removed from dental register for fraud convictions
The General Dental Council has removed two dental nurses from the register of dental professionals following a prosecution for fraud. They were both and suspended immediately. Lucy Molloy and Stacey Crook both made fraudulent insurance claims following a premeditated car crash.
Miss Molloy was convicted at Carlisle Crown Court of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for self/another to cause loss to other/expose other to risk on 13 May 2016. She was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, was required to carry out unpaid work for 100 hours and was ordered to pay compensation of £2000 and a victim surcharge of £80.
Miss Crook was convicted at Carlisle Crown Court of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for self/another to cause loss to other/expose other to risk on 17 June 2016. She was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, was required to carry out unpaid work for 75 hours and ordered to pay compensation of £1000 and a pay victim surcharge of £80.
Both Miss Molloy and Miss Crook were suspended by the General Dental Council, meaning they were unable to work as dental professionals, whilst the criminal investigation was ongoing. Following their convictions, a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hearing to assess their fitness to practice took place on 17 August. Neither party was present or represented.
A spokesperson from the PCC said that the committee had considered the serious nature of Miss Crook’s and Miss Molloy’s convictions which relate to “dishonest conduct that appears to have been premeditated, involving others and potentially exposing them to risk.” They added that they had also “obtained money from an insurance company based on false representations”.
The PCC outlined that the convictions were for dishonesty. It also highlighted that the standards expected of all dental professionals, as outlined in the Standards for the Dental Team, were not met. These included acting with honesty and integrity and ensuring that an individual’s conduct justifies patients’ and the public’s trust.
The PCC then decided that, due to the “gravity of the conviction”, Miss Molloy and Miss Crook should be removed from the register of dental professionals – and suspended immediately – meaning that neither can practise in the United Kingdom.
Jonathan Green, Executive Director, Fitness to Practise at the General Dental Council (GDC), said: “The General Dental Council’s role is to protect patients, regulate dental professionals and ensure the public has confidence in dental services. All dental professionals are expected to uphold the standards outlined in our Standards for the Dental Team. These include ensuring that the public can have confidence in you, as a professional, and dental services.
“These are standards that were not met by Miss Molloy or Miss Crook. The PCC believed that the practitioners’ actions potentially undermined patients’ confidence in dentistry and therefore the only suitable sanction was to remove both dental nurses from the register. This means that they are both unable to work as dental nurses in the United Kingdom.”
11 August 2017
GDC Publishes Conflicts of Interest Case Study
The General Dental Council has joined eight other regulators in signing a joint statement following the NHS’ publication of guidance on how to manage conflicts of interest. The General Dental Council and General Chiropractic Council have released a case study titled: Conflicts of interest: Competing interests and incentives, as part of this joint regulator work.
The regulators’ statement sets out the expectations of health and care professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all areas. It also includes advice on putting the interests of people in their care before their own, maintaining appropriate personal and professional boundaries and being open about any conflict as early as possible.
As well as the GDC, the joint statement has been signed by the following organisations:
– General Chiropractic Council
– General Medical Council
– General Optical Council
– General Osteopathic Council
– General Pharmaceutical Council
– Health and Care Professions Council
– Nursing and Midwifery Council
– Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
“Joint statement from the Chief Executives of statutory regulators of health and care professionals
Conflicts of Interest
This joint statement on ‘conflicts of interest’ sets out our expectations of health and care professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all healthcare settings. It is intended to support the standards or code for each profession and any additional guidance they may have. These professional standards, codes and additional guidance should be the over-riding consideration for professionals. We believe that given the increasing move towards multi-disciplinary teams, there is great value in working together for a consistent approach.
We will promote this joint statement to our registrants, students, and to the public, to ensure they all know what we expect. We will support this with case studies to illustrate the principles of the statement, and show how these issues might arise in different settings. We will encourage all registrants to reflect on their own learning and continuing professional development needs regarding conflicts of interest.
Handling conflicts of interest
Conflicts can arise in situations where someone’s judgement may be influenced, or perceived to be influenced, by a personal, financial or other interest.
We expect health and social care professionals to:
- Put the interests of people in their care before their own interests, or those of any colleague, business, organisation, close family member or friend.
- Maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries with the people they provide care to and with others.
- Consider carefully where conflicts of interest may arise – or be perceived to arise – and seek advice if they are unsure how to handle this.
- Be open about any conflict of interest they face, declaring it formally when appropriate and as early as possible, in line with the policies of their employer or the organisation contracting their services.
- Ensure their professional judgement is not compromised by personal, financial or commercial interests, incentives, targets or similar measures.
- Refuse all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality if accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment or would contravene your professional code of practice.
- Where appropriate, ensure that patients have access to visible and easy-to-understand information on any fees and charging policies for which you are responsible.
 ‘Health and care professionals’ refers to those individuals regulated by one of the nine regulators overseen by the Professional Standards Authority. Social workers are separately regulated in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
The Joint Statement and the Case Study are available here.
11 July 2017
General Dental Council Annual Report and Accounts
11 July 2017
Planning for reform of dental regulation in a period of uncertainty: GDC publishes its annual report for 2016
The annual report gives details of achievements and activities in 2016 and the GDC’s ambitions for the coming years as it continues with the second year of a three-year roadmap and presses ahead with improvements to dental regulation set out in Shifting the balance: a better, fairer system of dental regulation. – read more
29 June 2017
Enhanced Continuing Professional Development rules are sealed for approval
The enhanced CPD scheme is designed to support dental professionals gain maximum benefit from CPD activities. The scheme encourages… – read more
23 June 2017
New requirements for continuing professional development
Changes to continuing professional development – “Enhanced CPD or ECPD” – have been agreed by the General Dental Council (GDC) and will come into force in 2018.
These changes herald the introduction of a personal development plan for each member of the dental team. – read more
30 March 2017
GDC seeking two new dental professional members
The GDC is searching for two new dental professional members and four new lay members – the deadline for applications is 5 April 2017.
“The General Dental Council is an organisation going through change – and each Council member will be instrumental in its strategic direction. Key to this strategy will be the organisation’s commitment to Shifting the balance a better, fairer system of dental regulation – the non-legislative regulatory reform programme, set to modernise dental regulation in order to enhance patient protection and public confidence in dental services.
We’re looking for individuals with experience of supporting confidence in public services, the capacity to understand the organisational and business issues facing the GDC, and experience of providing strategic input to an organisation. The GDC is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and values diversity of culture among our Council members. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from all suitably qualified individuals. We will seek to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly, with respect and without bias.
A full information pack and details of how to apply are available on the Saxton Bampfylde website.”
REGISTRATION WITH THE GENERAL DENTAL COUNCIL
From 1 August 2008, all dental nurses working in the United Kingdom must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Anyone working as a dental nurse who is not registered with the GDC is working illegally and may be liable to prosecution. Other members of the dental team who employ, or work with, unregistered dental nurses may also be disciplined by the GDC and their own registration may be at risk.
Student dental nurses on an accredited training course are not required to register with the GDC until after qualification, and may only work under supervision of another registrant.
To register with the GDC, click here
In order to find out if you are eligible for registration with the GDC, click here
If you were previously registered with the GDC and your registration lapsed for any reason, you will have to apply for restoration to the Register in order to be able to work again as a dental nurse in the UK. For information on restoration to the Register, click here
To log into your e-GDC account, click here
For information on dental nurse qualifications which are approved for registration, click here
For information on dental nurses “in training” (ie student dental nurses), click here
For information on the CPD requirements, click here
For information on Standards for Dental Professionals, click here
For information on Scope of Practice, click here
For information on Fitness to Practise, click here
For GDC latest news and press releases, click here