GDC says it will no longer publish outcomes made by Interim Orders Committee

GDC says it will no longer publish outcomes made by Interim Orders Committee

The General Dental Council (GDC) will change what information is published following decisions by the Interim Orders Committee (IOC).

After a review of its policy, the Dental Professionals Hearings Service will no longer publish determinations made by the IOC.

Instead, the outcome will be published on its website after a hearing or review has taken place. This includes any action taken to protect the public, patients or dental professionals.

However, any restrictions on registration will continue to be added to the online register on the GDC’s website. 

The regulator said this follows acknowledgement that investigations can be ‘intrusive’. It says it recognises that stress can be caused not just by the experience but also by the public availability of information while an investigation is ongoing. 

All previously published IOC determinations have also been removed. These have been replaced with the outcome of any hearing or review.

Where no order is imposed by the IOC, the outcome will be published for one month and then removed. 

Assess risk

The GDC added that there may be instances where it is in the public interest or in the interests of the dental professional or other parties concerned for the registrar to apply discretion to this policy. However, the GDC expects these circumstances to be limited and the need to apply discretion rare.  

Theresa Thorp, executive director of regulation at the GDC, said: ‘By limiting publication to the IOC outcomes and any restrictions on a dental professional’s registration, we aim to maintain public safety and confidence while minimising negative effects on dental professionals while fitness to practise matters are investigated.

‘This change in policy recognises that allegations are untested at an IOC hearing or review because the role of the IOC is to assess risk and not to determine the facts of a case.’

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