General public tells GDC to shift its focus to prevention

GDC should shift focus to prevention, public saysThe GDC should shift its focus more towards prevention than action, the general public believes.

That’s according to the 2018/19 Patient and Public Survey, which found only 7% of people believe the GDC should take action. And only in cases of serious complaints.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said regulatory focus should be balanced, while 22% believe it should focus more on prevention.

‘If you take action,’ one respondent said.

‘It’s already gone too far…

‘If you can prevent it from happening, then that’s the best outcome for everybody.’

Is the GDC effective?

Seven in 10 (73%) people felt confident the GDC was effectively regulating dental professionals, the survey shows.

The two most common reasons given for those who were not confident were:

  • Unaware dentists and dental professionals are regulated
  • They had a bad experience of dental care.

‘We undertake this regular research primarily to ensure we have a good understanding of current public attitudes in relation to our work,’ GDC head of regulatory intelligence, David Teeman, said.

‘But, the survey’s scope is very broad and is, therefore, highly relevant to anyone who works in dentistry.

‘So I’d really encourage everyone to take a look at the results.’

Changing confidence

People from ethnic minority backgrounds have significantly less confidence the GDC is effectively regulating dentistry.

Almost two thirds (64%) of people from ethnic minority backgrounds felt the GDC was effectively regulating the profession.

This compares with 74% from white backgrounds. The dental regulator says it is considering further research to understand this more clearly.

‘It is encouraging that overall, almost three quarters of the public are confident in GDC regulation of dental professionals,’ Mr Teeman continued.

‘This also supports the GDC’s focus on preventing bad practice “upstream“.

‘As well as taking action for serious issues.’

Paid treatments

Two in five (39%) respondents strongly agreed or tended to agree they expected more from dentists than other healthcare professionals.

The reason given was because they pay for treatment with dentists.

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