The Oracle of Wimpole Street
 

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The Oracle of Wimpole Street

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The Oracle of Wimpole Street

 

The Oracle of Wimpole Street

John Chope lists some of the questions that the GDC will be asking itself in the months to come

The ancient Greeks began the custom of navel gazing when they contemplated the very navel of civilisation itself. This was a great cleft in the bedrock at Delphi directly connecting with the womb of the earth – issuing forth its swirling sulphurous vapours and an aura of spiritual solace. It provided an oasis of reassurance and calm amidst the extraordinary turmoil of Greek intellectual and military progress.
Throughout the past 10 years, navel gazing has been endemic at the GDC, and during this time both dentistry and healthcare regulation have experienced a continuum of upheaval, turmoil and regrouping. The tectonic plates continue to move, and so the GDC decided at its last meeting it was time to take another peep at The Oracle.

With its planned expansion to accommodate DCPs, the constitution of the Council and exactly how the regulatory framework will impact on the whole dental team needs careful thought. A working group was established, consisting of Council members who would consult the various DCP groups and report back to Council.
There is also an expectation that, in the wake of Dame Janet Smith’s report and the Donaldson and Foster reviews, an inevitable tide of reform will wash over all healthcare regulators and that the GDC had better try to predict and be prepared for the consequences.

Similarly, the avalanche of European Directives tumbling out of Brussels impacts on every aspect of life. Can the GDC second-guess the next decision to affect the healthcare sector?
Another area for thought is the increasing, almost exponential, investment in public and patient involvement – how should the GDC address the call for patient-centred regulation? To what extent should public concerns such as choice, access and even cost influence GDC decisions?

What is the impact of devolution on the GDC’s task? What approach should the GDC adopt to regulation in the future: should it be prescriptive, with an emphasis on enforcement, or more flexible and advice-based? Should the Council extend its area of interest beyond the individual responsibility of its registrants to include the whole system that delivers the patient experience as illustrated in the recent target and incentives debate around the new GDS contract?

These are to be addressed at a series of three workshops during the Spring and Summer. Certainly the GDC’s navel still holds a few surprises and we await the message from The Oracle of Wimpole Street.

 Posted on : Tue 28th - Mar - 2006

 

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