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23rd July 2015

GDC: Shooting Season

GDC: Shooting Season

This post is not about having ‘a pop’ at anyone or anything.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  When we observe things that make us uncomfortable or aspects of people that strike the wrong chord, we ought to be wondering what we are seeing in terms of reflections of ourselves.  It’s also the classic case of learning from other’s mistakes.

 So, what are we looking at from which can learn lessons?

Poor Practise

The General Dental Council has been identified again by the Public Standards Authority (PSA) as the worst performing professional regulator in its 2014-15 Performance Review.  Although it did OK in meeting some standards, it missed the important ‘Good Regulation for Fitness to Practise.   In fact, it fully met only the first of the 10 standards in this area.  By comparison, the General Medical Council met all 24 of the Standards of Good Regulation.

The GDC has been trying to alter its position.  However, the PSA said:

“No clear rationale was given for some of the proposals in the GDC’s consultation on its fitness to practise rules. We also criticised the GDC’s consultation on its fitness to practise rules for not including an assessment of the impacts of the proposals. The GDC was the subject of judicial criticism (as a result of judicial review proceedings initiated by the British Dental Association) for not providing sufficient information in its consultation about the proposed increase to dentists’ annual retention fee."

Recently, I've seen a lot of criticism of the GDC following the report.  It’s like everyone feels the tables are turned and now it’s our privilege to have a go at the body that seems to criticise us.   Yes, there is a lot of work to do in re-gaining the confidence of the profession and public after this publication.  However, don’t we all have work to do to continue improving our own standards?


Basically, the GDC has been accused of poor governance.  All healthcare organisations need to address the triumvirate of Clinical Governance , Fiscal (business) Governance and Person (HR) Governance.  Rather than throwing stones at someone who is down, we should be learning lessons from this and study the subject as though it were us on trial.

We all have our weak points, we all could improve the governance of our practices and business.  Instead of seeking the negativity in others, look inwards at your own practise in a process of continual improvement.  The tools are available in the material from Quality Compliance Systems.  Use them wisely!

Dr John Shapter – QCS Expert Dental Contributor

Topics: Dentists

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