The most recent performance review of the General Dental Council by the PSA has revealed that the GDC is only meeting 3 out of 5 standards of good regulation in fitness to practise.

Read also: PSA’s role in fitness to practise

The General Dental Council (GDC) did not meet standards of good regulation is respect of the expediency of resolving fitness to practise cases and identification and prioritisation of cases which suggest a serious risk to the safety of patients or service users.

Dealing with fitness to practise cases expeditiously

In respect of the GDC dealing with fitness to practise cases expeditiously.

It was noted that the

“time from receipt of concern to final practice committee decision has increased from 94 weeks in 2018/19 to 107 weeks in 2019/20 and continued to increase” and that “dealing with fitness to practise cases expeditiously is a key consideration …, for registrants and for public confidence. We [PSA] consider that 107 weeks is unacceptably high, and appears to have worsened, as have the number of cases over 156 weeks old.”

It is worth noting that the proposed extension of Rule 4 was not taken into consideration because the review concluded outside of this review period.

Identification and prioritisation of cases which suggest a serious risk

The PSA found that whilst

“… the timeliness of interim order decision-making remains stable… the statistical dataset indicates that the GDC was taking longer to identify those cases which may pose a serious risk to the safety of patients or service users during this performance review period.”

This means that at

“…the triage and investigation stages of its fitness to practise process” the General Dental Council “might not be identifying and/or assessing risks appropriately.”

Other standards met

The fitness to practise aspect of the review covers five standards of good regulation.  Of the remaining three, the GDC satisfied the PSA that these standards were met:

  1. Enabling anyone to raise a concern about a registrant, the GDC saw a reduction in the number of complaint and was effective in its approach to triage;
  2. Ensuring that all decisions are made in accordance with its processes, are proportionate, consistent and fair; and
  3. All parties to a complaint are supported to participate effectively.


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