The GDC must ‘act quickly’ to address the way untested allegations against dentists are investigated

The General Dental Council has updated registrants on the action it is taking following criticism about the level of detail its Interim Orders Committee makes public when considering serious concerns.

Last year a coroner said the GDC must do more to prevent deaths in the profession following the death by suicide.

In her report, the coroner, Katrina Hepburn, highlighted concern with the way the GDC publicly displays information before proceedings have ended.

In its latest statement, the GDC said it had “taken various steps to minimise unnecessary stress and anxiety and ensure that the small number of dental professionals involved in an investigation are supported and that their mental health and wellbeing is a priority”.  

The regulator added that it was “committed to reflecting and learning lessons where we can and are developing a process to undertake a serious incident review when we become aware that someone has died while subject to a fitness to practise investigation”.   

Rachael Bell, interim head of dental at MDDUS, said:

“I am saddened to hear of the death of any registrant undergoing an investigation into their fitness to practice.

“We have long recognised the need for greater support for any member going through an investigation.

“We don’t stop at standing alongside our members, we care for members through our vulnerable member policy, and I highlight to any member or their team our free and confidential YourHalo wellbeing service.

The GDC should reflect and learn from this deeply sad event and act quickly to embed change and address both delays and the way that untested allegations are reported on.”

YourHalo is available to any MDDUS member or members of their team. Visit Member wellbeing and mental health | MDDUS to find out more.



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.

For further information please contact Lisa Walker, communications manager, on or 07976 886552.

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.

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.