‘Absolutely appalling’ – profession reacts to dental technician’s GDC erasure


After a dental technician was struck off for failing to complete his CPD requirements amidst a brain tumour diagnosis, we heard from a number of dental professionals who are calling for him to be reinstated. 

Two years ago, Simon Barrington was diagnosed with a brain tumour while working as a dental technician. He underwent significant neurosurgery to remove it, which left him unable to speak in the immediate aftermath. He began working one to two hours per day as soon as his health permitted, which aided his recovery greatly.

During this period, CPD requirements changed from 50 hours in five years to 10 hours each year. According to Simon, he was unaware of this change and did not manage to meet the requirement within that year. This resulted in his removal from the GDC register.

‘I did ring them and ask if I could have an extension because of my medical situation but was told “no”,’ he said. ‘I asked what the best way forward was and was told I would have to wait until I had been erased from the register then have to reapply for my registration.’

However, due to the pressures of recovery, he did not reapply.

‘Considering what I had just been through, I didn’t want the hassle of having to reapply,’ he added. ‘I was still struggling in recovery and hoping I had no tumour left.’

We heard what the profession thinks about the case and the changes it believes could make a world of difference.

Peta Foley – dental technician

What do I think about the GDC’s handling of this case? Absolutely appalling. How disgusting to strike someone off the register when they’re suffering from a significant illness like that.

The GDC should be ashamed and re-instate his registration at the earliest opportunity.

This is a disgrace. A total disgrace.

I was almost struck off during lockdown – my father had died and our laboratory (who provided the CPD) shut down for months and months. It looks like I was fortunate!

Best wishes to Simon and I hope he gets back on the register very soon.

Peter West – retired dental practitioner

Disgraceful! When rules are imposed everything is black or white. Life, however, is shades of grey. It’s not the rules but the application of them that requires wisdom.

We could have had some human being who actually thinks deal with this exception. The irony is that he probably worked for years with no problems before compulsory CPD.

It’s not as if CPD makes any difference. I’m retired now but in my 35 years of dentistry, things went downhill when compulsory CPD was introduced. Before that we went on courses because we wanted to not because we had to.

The spirit was different and we all enjoyed them and we all learnt a great deal. When you are forced to do something the motivation goes. Over regulation kills everything and achieves nothing.

Last thoughts, many years ago, we were much more confident in our jobs than modern graduates. We did many things that terrify the current generation of dentists.

Maybe before the days of CPD, we were taught better!


I employed an experienced nurse at the start of April. She had had a career change after her initial registration as a nurse and so was obliged to reinstate her registration prior to working with me.

We sent all paperwork – CPD, ID proofs etc – one month before she was due to start work, assuming this would give them plenty of time.

It is now the start of August and she is still working on reception as the application has not been processed! How on earth can a small business be expected to function when being knobbled by its own regulator? It just stinks of bureaucratic incompetence. When I tell my patients why my nurse cannot work with me it places them in a very bad light with the public.

Apparently, the reason they are ‘so very busy’, is that they are dealing with the backlog of overseas registration paperwork thus, leaving them unable to look after their own registrants.

What’s so difficult about completing this task? It strikes me that it is a simple tick-box process anyway!

Just stinks of absolute incompetence.


The lack of compassion and support for people in order for them to rehabilitate when they stray from the regulations goes against our professions ethos of caring in all aspects of life.

It is shameful and upsetting.


I think it is a disgusting and a disgrace to a medical governing body. The GDC should be ashamed of themselves. I hope none of them on the board, heaven forbid, ever become ill themselves and come looking to the GDC for some support!

Simon Barrington should be reregistered and has my full support. Get well soon, Simon.


‘CPD is a vital part of commitment to professionalism and ensuring public confidence in dentistry,’ said a GDC spokesperson.

How about GDC showing some compassion and understanding to the members of the dental profession for once rather than imposing rigid tick-box rules?

They might then regain some of the respect that they have lost over recent years.

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