Dental therapist struggling ‘to keep food on the table’ due to GDC delays

After missing the GDC registration deadline, a dental therapist has been forced to claim benefits and take up a temporary job in a shoe shop due to GDC delays.

‘It’s been soul destroying’: After missing the GDC registration deadline, a dental therapist has been forced to claim benefits and take up a temporary job in a shoe shop due to GDC delays.

A dental therapist has had to claim benefits and take up a temporary job at a shoe shop.

This comes after she missed the General Dental Council (GDC) registration deadline. She has since been waiting for over four months to be restored onto the GDC register.

As a result, Stacy Ozaydin, from Stobswell Dental Practice, hasn’t been able to treat patients since. She also fears her practice will fill her position due to being under pressure from patients.

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‘I’m a single mum to a six-year-old,’ Stacy said. ‘I’ve had to claim benefits and take on a Christmas temp job in a shoe shop in the meantime to keep food on the table’.

‘I’ve had to get Universal Credit and go to the job centre where a job coach told me I had to spend 25 hours a week looking for a job. Even though I’ve got a job at Stobswell and patients waiting, I’m working in a shop.

‘And I had to take money out of an ISA I have, with a 25% penalty, to get by. It’s been soul-destroying. I just need my registration back.’

Stacy first realised she had missed the deadline in the early hours of the following day.

‘Before this happened I’d been suffering from brain fog after having long Covid, which is why I think I missed the deadline. But I called the GDC as soon as I realised my mistake. I had patients booked in at Stobswell that week!’

On the GDC delays, Stacy said: ‘If patients are wondering why they can’t get an appointment, it would be great to get answers from the GDC as to why they can’t restore clinicians faster. It feels like they are accountable to no one.

‘The GDC said I’d be automatically taken off the register and it would be illegal for me to go into work until I restored my registration. I frantically got all the documentation printed off (24 pages including signed passport pictures) and sent it next day delivery.

‘The GDC received this on August 2. I am still waiting to be restored to the register almost four months on.’

GDC response

In response, a spokesperson for the General Dental Council said: ‘Our primary purpose is to maintain patient safety and public confidence in dentistry and one of the ways we do this is through maintaining the register of dental professionals who have met the requirements to practise in the UK.

‘We communicate extensively with registrants, for example, on up to 15 separate occasions for those approaching the ARF deadline – across email, letter and text message – to ensure they are fully aware of the steps they must take to maintain their registration. When those steps are not taken, professionals will ultimately be removed from the register and must then restore their registration before they are able practice again.

‘The periods following renewal are the busiest of the year for this type of application and this can lead to longer processing times. Delays can also be caused by other issues such as required information or documentation not being provided, or if other concerns are raised with us which need to be resolved before a professional can be restored to the register.

‘We aim to progress applications as rapidly as possible, and we recognise our performance is not currently where we need it to be.

‘There are several reasons for this, but the greatest driver is team capacity which, due to recruitment challenges and illness, was significantly reduced over this busy period.

‘We are working through current applications as quickly as we can and, to aid this, have introduced new efficiencies to speed up the processes where possible and are offering weekend overtime to boost our output.’

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