GDC to receive an accountability hearing
Professional regulators, including the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council, have been subject to regular accountability hearings since 2010.
The dental regulator, despite being reviewed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), has previously avoided a formal hearing.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed news that the GDC is to be subject of a Health Select Committee accountability hearing on 3 March 2015.
The GDC was the subject of an adjournment debate in parliament on 9 December 2014.
The BDA wrote to health ministers and the Health Select Committee after the regulator was found to have acted unlawfully in the High Court in its consultation on the setting of professional fees.
Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee said: ‘We’ve told MPs and ministers that patients and practitioners are best served by a regulator that is subject to real scrutiny.
‘So we are delighted that the Health Select Committee has decided to call its first accountability hearing on the General Dental Council.
‘For far too long our regulator has appeared to be operating in a consequence-free environment.
‘And as a result we have not seen the efficient and effective regulation our profession deserves.
‘From 18 month fitness to practise cases to unlawful consultations, it’s finally time to look at the impact of the GDC’s decision-making in the cold light of day.
‘Westminster is waking up to the fact that Britain’s most expensive healthcare regulator is also the least efficient, most troubled and enjoys little confidence among the profession and the PSA.
‘Politicians need to act, and holding the GDC to account is an essential first step.’
There is no formal call for evidence for this hearing, but the committee has said it would be pleased to receive written submissions on the work of the GDC in advance of the hearing.