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Irony surely not lost on GDC on dentists’ “candour”

16 October 2015

Irony surely not lost on GDC on dentists’ “candour”

Hello readers and welcome to this week’s newsletter. We sincerely hope to see you all next week at the BDIA Dental Showcase. If you’re there, be sure to pop by Stand J5 where you will find out all about our latest launches (and even get a goody bag and a glass of bubbly too!) We’re all particularly excited about the launch of a truckload of new content on Healthcare CPD that you can sink your teeth into, and we’ll have it all set up that you can try out the site that offers you over 150 verifiable downloadable certificates that you can get with one easy monthly subscription.

And now to news! The GDC have opened up quite a lot of consultations recently. Last week it was the return of the infamous ARF, the week before it was a consultation on its corporate strategy that the BDA says is “attempting to extend its remit at the expense of registrants,” and now this week we have two more – one that makes quite a bit of sense and one that’s a bit more head scratching.

You see, they’ve published new guidance on the “candour” they expect from all registrants, in accordance with what the other regulators of healthcare professionals in the UK expect. And what candour is expected? “Candour means being open and honest,” they define, “with all patients, whether they have made a complaint or not. All healthcare professionals have a duty of candour – a professional responsibility to be honest with patients when something goes wrong…”

To be sure, this is what healthcare professionals should be doing, but the kind of candour the GDC have been in short supply of this kind of candour, themselves, in recent times. The latest came just a couple of weeks ago, when an expert witness for the GDC was found to be “inconsistent” and “unclear”. Furthermore, the committee said it was “surprised at her inability to recall some of the oral evidence.”

The registrant in this case was called before a hearing that was dead in the water, almost as soon it began to probe into the case. Once the expert witness’s view that the registrant’s behaviour fell “far below” what was expected of a dental professional was found to not be the case, the counsel for the GDC immediately “conceded that the matters found proved could not amount to misconduct.”

So, a registrant suffers the stress of awaiting a hearing on charges that could not amount to misconduct? Worrying about their career, their livelihood, for a veritable storm in a teacup? Once the registrant put forth their strong defense, the Committee dismissed the case. Was it cases like these that made the ARF hike so large? Dental professionals are certainly entitled to be unhappy when they read cases like these. Maybe a bit more “candour” for all concerned wouldn’t go amiss.

What do you think? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below or send them to . Until next time…

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