In January 2017, we published our discussion document, Shifting the balance: a better, fairer system of dental regulation.
It set out our views on reforming dental regulation, which did not rely on legislative change, making the system better for patients and fairer for dental professionals.
The General Dental Council wants the system of dental regulation to be collaborative, where issues that arise are dealt with in the right place and delivers the right outcomes for patients and the public at the right cost, within an acceptable timeframe and in a proportionate manner.
Shifting the balance consists of four main areas of proposals:
Moving upstream: which includes putting a stronger emphasis on patient protection, learning within the system, engaging more effectively with current and future dental professionals, and developing alternative approaches to continuing professional development.
First tier complaints: this involves building better partnerships to improve the handling of patient feedback, concerns and complaints with the practice, and expanding access to mediation and other forms.
Working with partners: which includes other regulators and equivalents and the professions themselves.
Refocusing fitness to practise: this means being clear about the serious nature of 'impaired fitness to practise' and taking action to ensure that anything short of that is dealt with using alternative tools with the right touch, and providing support to patients to find the best mechanism for resolving their issue.
We cannot achieve this vision this alone. We need the involvement of patients, dental professionals and our partners, to bring about these changes. All of this will need us to be bold and to challenge all our assumptions about why we do things in the way we do them.
We have analysed all of your responses to our discussion document, Shifting the balance. We received 86 responses which have been summarised in Shifting the balance: The GDC's response to your views and next steps.