The General Dental Council (GDC) has announced improvements to its fitness to practise processes.
It said the changes aimed to reduce the impacts felt by those under regulatory investigation, improve the speed at which cases are dealt with and make the most of its current resources in the absence of regulatory reform.
The GDC also announced a review of the longstanding cases where progress to investigation has been slow. This should result in a number of these cases being closed without further investigation.
Stephen Henderson, head of dental division at MDDUS, the UK dental defence organisation, said: “This is a significant improvement for the registrants concerned and avoids the stress of two investigations with the fear of a double jeopardy.
“We are also pleased to see that some of legacy case files that have been open for a long time will be closed where there is no prospect of a finding of current impairment.”
Mr Henderson said MDDUS urged the GDC and the General Medical Council to take this opportunity to reach an agreement for the management of dually registered oral and maxillofacial Surgeons undergoing fitness to practise investigations.
He said: “Both GDC and General Medical Council should build on this pragmatic and sensible approach to solve the long-standing issues around oral and maxillofacial surgery so that they avoid duplicate investigations and the risk of two separate sanctions for the same facts.”
The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) is a mutual organisation that protects the professional interests of more than 56,000 doctors and dentists across the United Kingdom, offering access to indemnity, support and legal advice.
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