New GDC power
 

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New GDC power

 

New GDC power

The General Dental Council (GDC) has this week secured long-awaited new powers to strengthen its role in protecting patients and help drive up professional standards in dentistry.

The new powers, granted by Parliament, enable the GDC to introduce a range of measures in the interest of both patients and dental professionals. These include:
• Setting up a complaints scheme for patients receiving private dental treatment
• Registering and regulating the wider dental team, including dental nurses and dental technicians
• Reforming its conduct and health procedures, and
introducing new procedures to tackle poor performance in dental professionals.

With the legislation now in place, the GDC expects to begin to introduce the new measures within nine months, once the final implementation work has been completed. This includes drafting and consulting upon subsidiary legislation, which will set out exactly how each of the initiatives will work.

Announced by Health Minister Rosie Winterton, the new powers include measures to tackle problems highlighted in a report on the private dentistry market in the UK by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Patients complained that they were not given adequate information to make informed choices about their treatment and often do not know how much their treatment is going to cost.

Rosie Winterton said: ‘These measures will make sure patients get a fair deal and clear information when they receive dental treatment. Through these new powers, the General Dental Council is better placed to assure the quality of care that patients receive and provides a more robust and effective complaints system to take early action when things go wrong. Giving the GDC greater powers to regulate the dentistry profession is the next step in a programme of reforms to modernise dentistry. We are investing an extra £368m on measures which include, recruiting the equivalent of 1,000 new dentists, introducing new contractual arrangements for NHS dentists and consulting on a simpler, fairer dental charging system.’

Hew Mathewson, President of the General Dental Council said: ‘The new powers will enable us to make significant changes to the way we regulate the dental profession - for the benefit of all UK dental patients and the dental professionals who provide their care. Next year will see us introduce a new complaints scheme for patients receiving private dental care and begin to register and regulate new members of the dental team. We have been preparing for these improvements for several years and are delighted now to have the legislation to implement them.’

 Posted on : Wed 7th - Sep - 2005

 

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