Dental nurse removed from register after CPD declaration slip up

‘Struggling to cope’: A dental nurse has been made unemployed for not declaring her CPD and is now waiting six to eight months to be restored on the GDC register. 

A dental nurse has been removed from the GDC register after not completing the CPD section on her registration.

She had met her CPD requirements for every cycle and paid her Annual Retention Fee (ARF) in July last year. But unfortunately, the dental nurse failed to declare her CPD.

As a result, her employer dismissed her and she is currently unemployed. In addition, she is having to wait six to eight months to be put back on the register.

As well as this, she is now left wondering whether she would like to continue in the profession. This follows the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis in dentistry.

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Waiting six to eight months

The dental nurse received an email in November last year stating that she had been removed from the GDC register. ‘This was the first time that she was aware that there was an issue,’ said Joe Hendron, a dentist who has previously worked with her.

‘She had moved residence several times and no mail had been forwarded to her.

‘She is sure that she had not received any notices by email from the GDC between July and November, which is her preferred method of contact.’

Joe also said that she has never had a problem regarding registration or CPD before. ‘This lady has been registered as a dental nurse since 2013 and has maintained her CPD responsibilities for every cycle and her record has been without blemish,’ he said.

Upon receiving the email, the dental nurse contacted the GDC to resolve the issue. However, she was told that she had to complete the re-registration forms, provide evidence of her CPD record, pay the re-registration fees and prove she had adequate use of the English language.

As well as this, after completing this process, the GDC informed her it would take another six to eight months to restore her back on the GDC register due to a backlog of similar cases.

‘Out of touch’

‘Surely if she could prove from her records that she had completed the required CPD at the time of her renewal, is this needless bureaucracy necessary?’ Joe said.

‘In the meantime, she is left wondering whether it is worthwhile carrying on in the profession and is very concerned that with no income coming in, she is struggling to cope.

‘The GDC are clearly out of touch with the reality that there is a national workforce crisis – not only for dentists, but dental nurses as well. She is much more experienced, efficient and effective than most trainee dental nurses who are not required to be registered.

‘While I understand the argument for registration ensures that DCPs are properly trained and continue to update their knowledge throughout their careers, the GDC is showing itself to be completely obtuse in this case.

‘A simple correction to a simple omission should suffice once the evidence has been provided. The GDC has high expectations of its registrants, yet it’s performance leaves a lot to be desired.’

GDC response

A GDC spokesperson said: ‘We are unable to comment on individual cases, however our primary purpose is to maintain patient safety and public confidence in dentistry.

‘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.

‘The GDC communicates extensively with dental professionals – on up to 15 separate occasions for those at risk of coming off the register using email, letter and text message – to ensure they are fully aware of the necessary steps to maintain their registration.

‘However, when those steps are not taken, professionals will ultimately be removed from the register and must then restore registration before they resume practice.

‘Delays to processing can be caused by a number of issues such as not providing the required information or documentation, or if other concerns are raised with us which need to be resolved before a professional can be restored to the register.’

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