General Dental Council (GDC) have published guidance for employers, managers, and contractors of dental services who are not registered.

In publishing the guidance, the GDC said “Contributing to patient safety and public confidence in dental services, a well-trained, motivated and competent dental team is in everyone’s interests.

“Employers and managers of dental professionals, who may not be GDC registrants, play a significant role in ensuring patients receive high standards of service and care…our new guide is designed to complement and support, pulling together useful information from a range of places.”

The guidance covers:

  • Employment and registration
  • Supporting members of the dental team
  • Developing the dental team
  • Developing the dental team
  • Dealing with feedback and concerns

On the topic of fitness to practise, the guidance states “If you, or a colleague, consider that patients or the public need to be protected from a dental professional, then you should refer your concerns to the GDC.”

However, the GDC was clear that it was not an arbitration service:

“We often receive complaints involving disputes between dental professionals that do not necessarily raise broader concerns about a dental professional’s fitness to practise or pose a risk to patient safety. The fitness to practice process can be costly, protracted and stressful for all concerned and in such cases, other forums for addressing such disputes—for example, mediation or business resolution services—may provide a more suitable outcome.”

GDC Head of Public Policy, Osama Ammar, said:

“While the GDC does not regulate dental businesses, working alongside our stakeholders we saw a gap in the information and support that was available to dental team managers and employers. By providing this additional information in one place, we felt we could assist them in their understanding of the professional responsibilities of the dental team and encourage activities that will enhance patient care.

“In addition to information to support dental professionals in understanding and meeting their regulatory responsibilities, the resource also covers well-being of the dental team and handling feedback and concerns.”

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