For the first time, the GDC’s fitness to practise report include a breakdown of cases by EDI characteristics, including ethnicity.

The report highlights that of all concerns we received, a disproportionately high number were raised against Asian or Asian British dentists (28%) when compared to their proportion of the total register (24%). Conversely, White dentists were underrepresented (43% of all concerns raised) when compared to their proportion of the register (50%).

Executive Director of Fitness to Practise, John Cullinane, said:

“This is the first time we have published EDI data in the context of fitness to practise and we’re in the early stages of understanding what it tells us, and how we can use it in our work to ensure there is no discrimination in any of our process. What we do know is that EDI analysis is complex and, as such, the data in our reports should not be used in isolation to draw conclusions as many other factors may be relevant, such as practice location, size of practice or local demographics.

“We are committed to developing the data we hold and our understanding of it, and we look forward to sharing further insights as our work progresses.”

Other findings:

  • The percentage of cases closed at the initial assessment stage fall from 19% to 13%, while the percentage of cases resulting in a hearing increased to 19%, compared to 2020 (15%)
  • The proportion of cases relating to the treatment given to a single patient increased from 37% in 2020 to 40% in 2021
  • The proportion of concerns raised by patients or members of the public also increased by over 6%
  • The total number of concerns received in 2021 was 1,349, compared to 1,134 in 2020 and 1,362 in 2019, indicating a return to the levels we were receiving before the pandemic.
  • On average, 99% of cases were considered and reviewed through an initial assessment within ten working days of receipt in the period 2019 to 2021
  • On average, 53% of investigation stage cases were completed within six months in 2021 (2020: 55%, 2019: 54%).
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