- Support and empower the profession through a range of education, learning and development activities such as embedding the Standards for the dental team, making sure students and trainees are equipped with the right skills from the beginning of their careers, and that those skills are maintained and improved through measures such as Continuing Professional Development. The intention is for the regulatory system to help to reduce the likelihood of things from going wrong, rather than to respond to harm once it has taken place.
- Support patients to feel confident their concerns are appropriately raised and resolved by the right body at the right time. Patients raise many issues, concerns, complaints and feedback about dental services with the GDC which Fitness to Practise (FtP) powers are not well suited to address. The GDC wants to see the ability of the sector to deal with complaints enhanced and strengthened so issues raised by patients are dealt with appropriately, which is very often in the first instance by the dental practice.
- Continue its commitment to work better with partners to improve the regulation of dentistry in the UK. It wants to strengthen its relationships with systems regulators and the NHS in the four nations, as well as professional associations, indemnity providers and employers, including corporate providers of dental services. The GDC cannot bring about real improvement without the support of the profession and its partners.
- Make it clear how and when it will use its formal FtP enforcement powers to manage serious risk to patients. Enforcement action is sometimes necessary, but the GDC’s aim is to use it when dental professionals put patients at serious risk or their actions damage public confidence in dental services. We have already widened the range of enforcement options available to us such as voluntary undertakings and anticipate accessing a range of tools across the regulatory system by better collaboration with other organisations and the profession. The proposals will be much clearer about when FtP powers are likely to offer the most appropriate solution, and to help patients navigate the alternatives.
The NHS in 2017: What are your experiences?
The winter always puts extra pressure on the NHS but this year the strain on the service has been exceptional.
In the week ending 8 January four out of 10 hospitals in England were on major alert status because of high patient numbers.
Meanwhile senior doctors in NHS England have reported concerns about the number of cancer patients with cancelled operations.
The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has indicated he is unimpressed with the funding provided by ministers, but the government has defended its policy against attacks from Labour in the Commons.
So what is really happening and in what state is the NHS? BBC News wants YOU to give them the whole picture.
The BBC wants to hear from you if the NHS has changed your life, positively or negatively, in 2017.
This could be following a cancellation of a routine operation, or the impact of your care as an exceptional nurse or carer, or any other experience with the NHS.
If a visit to your hospital, A&E or GP had a life-changing impact on you in 2017 let us know.
London woman ordered to pay £2,000 for illegal tooth whitening
A woman from London has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after pleading guilty to illegal tooth whitening, following a prosecution brought by the General Dental Council (GDC).
Jamie Farebrother appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 18thJanuary to face a charge under the Dentists Act 1984. After pleading guilty, Ms Farebrother was fined £500 by the court, as well as being ordered to pay £1,031 in costs to the GDC and a further £500 in compensation to the victim – a total of £2,031.
The charge relates to an incident on 6 April 2016, where Ms Farebrother provided tooth whitening treatment to an individual at Split Endz in Surrey Quays, south east London, despite not being a trained dental professional. The individual immediately experienced discomfort and ‘shooting pains’ during the treatment and suffered with inflamed gums for a week afterwards.
Victoria Sheppard-Jones, Interim Head of Illegal Practice at the GDC said: “Our first successful prosecution of 2017 shows that we are continuing to tackle illegal dentistry in order to protect the public from dangerous and potentially harmful work.
“In this case a patient was left in discomfort for a week as a result of Ms Farebrother not being trained or qualified to do the treatment safely. That’s why only a registered dental professional is lawfully allowed to do this work.
“For anyone considering tooth whitening, we urge you to check our online register to make sure the individual offering the treatment is a registered dental care professional. This way you can be confident that the person offering the treatment is legally allowed to do so.