Plug knowledge gap on direct access, GDC told

Gaps remain in dental professionals’ understanding of the complexities surrounding direct access, a recent meeting of dental stakeholders has said.

Members of the British Association of Dental Nurses, the British Association of Dental Therapists, the British Dental Association, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, the Faculty of General Dental Practice and the British Association of Clinical Dental Technology gathered to thrash out the issues surrounding the new rules for patient access to DCPs.

These new arrangements for direct access – implemented on 1 May by the General Dental Council – have left dental professionals with a number of questions that need clarification, the group believes.

There are many areas still requiring further guidance that were common to all groups; NHS regulations and the variations in legislation between the devolved nations, prescribing and reporting on radiographs, consent and referrals within the dental team to ensure efficient and safe care for patients.

Uncertainty about how the new arrangements can be implemented efficiently, with patients fully understanding the different roles of the dental professionals caring for them needs to be clearer, the group of stakeholders has said.

Its first meeting, which took place at the British Dental Association recently, agreed that the members would work together to try to resolve lingering uncertainties that stakeholders believe must be addressed for patients and clinicians alike.

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