The General Dental Council (GDC) has announced its improvement plans in response to the Public Standard Authority’s (PSA) investigation into its whistleblowing procedure.
The letter and action plan, published today (16th February) includes changes to its fitness to practise procedure, its leadership, and its organisational culture.
The PSA’s report was published in December 2015 and highlighted the “inappropriate” handling of a whistleblower’s disclosure about the GDC’s investigating committee.
William Moyes, Chair of the General Dental Council, said: “The Council has had time to consider the report, and as a result has developed a clear plan of actions so that improvements can be made.
“We have been on a significant journey of improvement over the past three years, a fact acknowledged by the PSA in their report. We fully recognise our responsibility to ensure that the issues highlighted are dealt with effectively, both now and in the future.
“Our fitness to practise function has been overhauled with improved processes and procedures providing much more resilience. The improvements will continue to be made with the introduction of case examiners later this year.
“As important is the fostering of a more open culture that encourages individuals to come forward to raise concerns.
“The leadership has also been fundamentally reshaped so that we can continue to drive forward improvements, as recently outlined in our three year road map Patients, Profession, Patients, Partners and Performance.
“We know there is further work to do but we are fully committed to becoming a high-performing, efficient regulator.”
The action plan covers three main areas:
- Making improvements to the Investigating Committee processes, which began in 2013 and involves completely overhauling (and regularly reviewing) all committee procedures and the training and support staff receive.
- Continuing with reforms to how the GDC is governed, with the reshaping of the senior management team and improved systems and processes.
- Ensure the organisation’s whistleblowing policies and procedures work alongside its leadership and culture to support the procedures and to match the best in the sector.