Paedophile vetting plan impacts on dentists
 

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Paedophile vetting plan impacts on dentists

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Paedophile vetting plan impacts on dentists

 

Paedophile vetting plan impacts on dentists

The General Dental Council (GDC) is investigating how the controversial Vetting and Barring scheme will impact on dental professionals amid fresh Government plans to review it.

The scheme, due to be rolled out next month, was announced in detail last week.

It's been set up in the wake of the Soham murders of two schoolgirls by school caretaker Ian Huntley in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002, and is aimed at stopping paedophiles getting access to children or inappropriate people working with vulnerable adults.

It will mean that anyone in regular contact with children or vulnerable adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to register with the ISA, a Home Office sponsored body, and have a criminal records check.

Anyone who is paid for their efforts will be charged a £64 fee to register but volunteers – who critics say it could put off – will have the charge waived.

Those who fails to register and have their backgrounds checked will face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.

But today it was announced that, in the face of the growing protests, children's secretary Ed Balls is re-examining the Vetting and Barring scheme.

He is reported as saying the review was intended to ensure the ‘right balance' has been struck over how many people would face checks.

Dental professionals are among the huge list of people who will now fall under the scheme, which will eventually cover 11.3 million people.

A spokesperson for the GDC said: We are looking carefully at how the Vetting and Barring Scheme could affect General Dental Council registrants and what role the GDC may play.

‘We are liaising with other regulators and working out how best to share relevant information. We are committed to keeping registrants informed of progress in this area and helping them understand their responsibilities. The GDC already has a series of measures to ensure patient protection.

‘Our Standards for Dental Professionals states that registrants should maintain their professional knowledge and competence. This includes finding out about laws and regulations which affect their work, premises, equipment and business – and following them.

'We also expect professionals to raise concerns if they believe patients might be at risk because of the behaviour of an employer or colleague, and to justify the trust that patients, the public and colleagues have in the profession by always acting honestly and fairly.'

In addition, the GDC registration process requires applicants to submit character references and sign a declaration about whether they have any prosecutions or convictions. This information is used to assess the applicant's fitness for registration now and in the future. If an individual makes a false statement, the GDC may refuse the application for registration or take further action such as prosecution or a public hearing.


A spokesperson for the BDA said: ‘The new arrangements for safeguarding vulnerable groups that come into force in October 2009 cover much of the same ground as the current Criminal Records Bureau checks. The BDA agrees that healthcare professionals should continue to be subject to checks that guarantee the safety of patients.

‘The BDA is advising members on their responsibilities in respect of the new arrangements.'


The Home Office anticipates up to 45,000 people will be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults, including some currently in jobs, once the scheme is fully rolled out – compared with around 25,000 currently.

Anyone barred who then tries to work in a sensitive job faces up to five years in prison. Employers knowingly hiring a barred individual face up to six months in jail.

The system replaces the three current barring lists in England and Wales (Protection of Children Act (PoCA) List, List 99 -the list of those prohibited from working with children in education- and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) List) with two new barred lists administered by the ISA rather than several government departments.

In Northern Ireland, it replaces the Disqualification from Working with Children (DWC) List, the Unsuitable Persons List (UP List) and the Disqualification from Working with Vulnerable Adults (DWVA) List.

 Posted on : Tue 15th - Sep - 2009

 

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