Dental profession has lost faith in the GDC, poll suggests

Following the GDC versus Williams case, a recent poll has found that 99.5% of dental professionals do not think the GDC is fit to regulate.

A recent poll has found that 99.5% of dental professionals do not think the GDC is fit to regulate.

On the back of the General Dental Council (GDC) versus Williams case, a poll was undertaken to find out what the profession thinks about the GDC.

The results found that only 0.45% of those who took part still has faith in the GDC.

Matt Everatt, editor-in-chief of Laboratory, asked two Facebook groups: ‘Do you think the GDC is fit to regulate any more?’.

These are the findings:

Dental Technicians Great Britain Facebook group

  • Yes – two votes
  • No – 153 votes.

For Dentists, By Dentists Facebook group

  • Yes – one vote
  • No – 512 votes.

Matt Everatt, editor-in-chief of Laboratory and director of S4S Dental Laboratory

The results are alarming. Within just a few hours, 136 votes had been cast, with 135 saying they felt the GDC are not fit to regulate our profession any more.

The case of GDC versus Williams raises many concerns about our regulator and their draconian and aggressive approach to safeguarding patients. The worrying thing about this case is the use of NHS rules that neither the NHS, GDC nor the defendant properly understood. Yet the GDC used them to bring charges of dishonesty and fraud against the dentist.

Is this the wake up call that is needed for us as registrants, and for the regulator themselves, to call for an overhaul of the fitness to practise process? Should the GDC act more so as a ‘partner’ with its registrants? Going shoulder-to-shoulder in protecting patients rather than looking through a case with a fine-toothed comb like a crash investigator to see where they can find mistakes to enable a suspension or a removal from the GDC register?

‘Practising in fear is not helpful to anyone’

I would like to see our regulator act in a more approachable manner, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with registrants in providing a world class service for the benefit of patients’ health and wellbeing.

Instead of trying to find holes in dentists’ notes to add more nails to the coffin in a fitness to practise case, they should be looking to preventative education and proactive registration. They should be helping registrants complete their CPD cycles, provide courses, and offer assistance in cases when things go wrong.

Let’s face it, things do go wrong and, for the majority of registrants, they weren’t trying to cut corners, defraud anyone or act unprofessionally. My hope would be the GDC take heed and go forward in a very inclusive and productive manner. Practising in fear is not helpful to anyone, least not patients.

Craig Broughton, clinical dental technician and director of CMB Dental Laboratory Ltd – voted against the GDC

Before entering the profession, I was a student nurse (adult nursing) and also a healthcare assistant. Nurses are required to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to which they pay an annual subscription fee to have their pin number allowing them to practise, just like dental professionals.

The NMC have the same role as the GDC in the way that they regulate the profession, but this is where the similarities end.

The NMC promote education. They have a magazine that is issued with bulletins, articles, CPD articles etc and they actively encourage their registrants to keep up to date with their education. The NMC correspondences are all full of up-beat, emotive articles aimed to encourage nursing professionals to learn more and do more. This is a stark contrast, I’m sure you’ll agree!

This blew my mind when I entered into dentistry. The governing body takes your money every year just to regulate? With no help whatsoever to reach your CPD target? No support or encouragement?

In my opinion, if the GDC merged with or released a magazine filled with positivity, CPD articles and a couple of updates, they would see a huge shift in the attitude of fellow professionals towards them. The overall feeling of the NMC is that they’re your friend and there to help, whereas the GDC are there to be feared.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that, and a small change could see a huge shift in attitudes.

James McHugh, dental technician – voted for the GDC

You have to place some trust into a governing body – I would probably warrant that most jumped on the vote because they have to pay yearly and see no effect.

I guess the old guard liked it the way it was. I voted with my tech bias switched off – I have to trust and let the GDC operate. They won’t get everything right, and this is why it’s gone on to the High Court. These decisions are made by groups of people trusted to make those said decisions.

Anonymous – voted against the GDC

From my current dealings with GDC, they are useless, understaffed and don’t actually understand what they’re there for or how to act in situations.

What are your thoughts on these findings? Get in touch: [email protected].

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar