For immediate release: Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Dentists can avoid potential disruption to their practice by ensuring all Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) are fully registered.
The deadline for payment of DCP registration has now passed and UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS has already received calls from dentists regarding DCPs who have failed to pay their Annual Retention Fee (ARF).
MDDUS dental adviser Rachael Bell warns of the consequences to the practice if DCPs are not registered. “If a DCP finds themselves not reregistered, for whatever reason, the principal dentists must ensure they are not carrying out tasks particular to their registration,” says Bell.
“Having a DCP who is unable to carry out clinical duties could cause major disruptions to a practice as principals may be forced to pay for someone else to provide cover. It could also result in some patient appointments having to be cancelled.
“We would advise all practices to check that registrations are up-to-date and that the practice has evidence that their DCPs have reregistered. It is fairly common that DCPs believe they have paid their ARF only to discover that the payment has failed for some reason.”
Being registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) is a legal requirement for DCPs in the UK. Figures from the GDC show that 58,346 DCPs renewed their registration ahead of the end of July deadline, with 4,012 being removed from the register. Of those eliminated, 760 requested to be taken off leaving 3,252 removed for non-payment.
As a result, MDDUS has handled calls asking for advice on steps to take when a DCP is not registered and whether or not they can still work in the clinical environment while they wait for their registration to be renewed.
“If your staff have failed to reregister then they will need to complete a form to apply for restoration to the DCP list,” says Bell. “They are also required to have a medical examination and provide a character reference, as well as giving evidence they have completed the required amount of CPD.
“In the meantime, they cannot carry out clinical work until they are reregistered, a process that can take up to two weeks. If a DCP has been working whilst their name was not currently on the register, then they and their employer will need to explain the circumstances in a letter.”
MDDUS would strongly advise employers or DCPs in this situation to seek advice from MDDUS before submitting their application.
“We would recommend that both DCPs and dentists set up a direct debit with the GDC in order to prevent a failure in payment of the ARF as this is a common occurrence which causes disruption to the smooth running of practices and to provision of care for patients,” adds Bell.
“If a direct debit is set up then it is crucial to ensure the mandate remains current and that bank details have not recently changed.”
To apply for restoration, go to the GDC website.
For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to editors
MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.