The Dentist Magazine.

GDC plans on the right track, says DDU

Published: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM

GDC plans to ensure patients are better signposted to the right place to make complaints, were welcomed by the Dental Defence Union (DDU).

The DDU responded to the GDC’s new corporate strategy which outlines the regulator’s plans for the next three years. The strategy restates the GDC’s commitment to working with regulators and health services across the UK, as well as patient organisations and the professions to develop a coherent system for resolving complaints and routing complaints effectively.

John Makin, head of the DDU, said, “The DDU has long advised members that they can reduce the risk of a complainant being taken to the GDC by ensuring their in-house complaints procedure is well signposted and addresses patients’ complaints in a reasonable timeframe.

“As we stressed in our response to the consultation on the new strategy, it is important for patients to have a clear and consistent message about how to make a complaint. This will ensure complaints are made to the right organisation that can address them most effectively. It will eliminate unnecessary duplicate investigations taking place into the same complaint, creating additional stress for dental professionals.

“Work has already begun through the Regulation of Dental Services Programme Board (RDSPB) which is intended to simplify the regulation process, and the DDU is contributing to this effort on members’ behalf.

“It’s also welcome news that the GDC will continue to concentrate on enhancements to its fitness to practise procedures, including a proposal to separate adjudication from the investigation and prosecution functions.

“The GDC’s corporate strategy is a welcome step towards a more responsive, proportionate and fairer regulatory system which will benefit patients and dentists alike.

“It will be vital to see the detail of how the GDC plans to achieve these high-level strategic objectives over the coming years. Where appropriate, we look forward to working with them and other organisations to ensure our members’ voices are heard.”