The General Dental Council (GDC) has published research today (Wednesday, 30 November) looking at the experiences of individuals involved with fitness to practise investigations.
It found that although outcomes were seen as largely fair and effective, there were often significant negative impacts reported on the mental health and wellbeing of participants. As a result, this could have unintended consequences for professional behaviour and practice.
Commenting on this, Stephen Henderson, Head of Dental at MDDUS said: "MDDUS is keenly aware from our own advice and support services how overwhelming fitness to practise investigations can be for dentists and dental care professionals. They often take far too long to resolve and can lead to individuals feeling distressed, disengaged or leaving the profession altogether.
"That’s why, in addition to the professional, legal and pastoral support from our expert dental and legal staff, we also provide a free, independent and confidential emotional wellbeing service called YourHalo to all our members.
"We acknowledge the GDC's commitment to continue to improve how fitness to practise investigations are managed. Our dentist members and their teams are dedicated, highly skilled professionals, and it is vital that they receive fair and timely treatment by the GDC as well as the support they need to deliver a high standard of care to their patients.
"This 'lived experience' research describes many of the concerns reported to us by our members going through fitness to practise investigations and demonstrates how the need for reform could not be more pressing. We call on the UK Government to act swiftly to ensure the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and fairer for clinicians and patients alike."
The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) is a mutual organisation that protects the professional interests of more than 54,000 doctors and dentists across the United Kingdom, offering access to indemnity, support and legal advice.
For further information please contact Caroline English, communications manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07741 237856.
This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.