The GDC has released new data suggesting that the total number of UK registered dental care professionals has increased this year following the annual review period.
The regulator announced yesterday that there were 71,769 dental care professionals (DCPs) on the register. The statistic was recorded the morning after removals took place. This is an increase of 2,093 on the equivalent figure for 2022.
The increase is larger than had been seen in recent years. The number of registrants had previously remained between 68,638 and 69,782 since 2019.
However, the GDC stressed that this figure did not account for varying working patterns eg full time versus part time. Neither did it provide insight into the balance between NHS and private dentistry.
‘The number of DCPs removed was lower’
The data also covered the number of DCPs removed from the register over the year. Overall, 3,541 DCPs were removed, down from 4,377 in 2022.
This figure was also segmented by professional title. For example, the number of dental nurses removed fell from 3,941 to 3,189.
The GDC said: ‘The statistics show that the number of DCPs removed was lower than last year for all titles with the exception of orthodontic therapists where there was a slight increase.’
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‘Black and white’ attitude
This comes as the GDC has been criticised for its ‘black and white’ attitude to erasure from the register. Many members of the profession have called for the GDC to reconsider their removal verdicts.
Speaking on the case of Simon Barrington, a dental technician who was removed from the register after he failed to meet CPD requirements following brain surgery, one anonymous dental professional said: ‘Re-instate his registration at the earliest opportunity.’
The GDC addressed the possibility of restoring DCPs who had been erased in their latest release. They said: ‘We have made it easier for dental professionals to restore their name to the registers so that they can continue to practise in the UK.’
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