The Dentist Magazine.

Health watchdog merger not a silver bullet

Published: 31/10/2017

The British Dental Association has responded to news that government is considering a merger of healthcare regulators. The consultation launched today. 

A major survey of dentists suggested 87 per cent lacked confidence in their regulator. While 65 per cent of respondents expressed a preference for a dedicated professional regulator – a similar proportion (62 per cent) said they would support an amalgamated health care regulator if greater efficiencies could be achieved.

Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association said, “Dentists have had to contend with the GDC, the most expensive and least effective health regulator in Britain as judged by recent Professional Standards Authority reports, but it’s unclear if a merger is a silver bullet.

“We can understand the appeal of a super-regulator among ministers. It offers the look of big change, and someone else will pick up the tab. The challenge will be achieving real efficiencies without losing vital expertise. 

"It would be easy to gloss over severe systemic problems with a cursory rebrand. Real reform requires a watchdog that really understands the challenges patients and practitioners are facing."