MDDUS has welcomed the findings of a new public attitudes survey showing that one in five respondents want the GDC to focus on preventing bad practice rather than taking action after it occurs.
The 2018/19 Patient and Public Survey found that that 65 per cent thought that regulatory focus should be balanced, whilst 22 per cent said it should focus on prevention, and seven per cent thought the focus should be on taking action in instances of serious complaints.
Aubrey Craig, MDDUS head of dental division, commented: "We support a regulatory approach that leads to continually improving dental standards and fewer subsequent complaints – a process that is stressful for dentists and their patients.
"That’s why we find it encouraging that a majority of respondents to this survey favour the regulator focusing on either mainly preventing bad practice, or taking an approach that balances prevention with action in the case of serious complaints.
"MDDUS provides its members with access to expert dento-legal advice, not only when they’ve received patient complaints, but also when they need support to best handle potentially complex or difficult situations.
"We also offer a range of face-to-face and online training courses for our members that promote good practice in maintaining standards of professionalism and also responding well when a complaint arises.
"In our experience, early local action is the key to defusing complaints which can usually be resolved with a swift and careful response, coupled with effective communication where the patient feels listened to and that their concerns have been addressed."