Minority of GDC fitness to practise cases pursued

ONLY 36 per cent of all the concerns received by the General Dental Council in 2019 made it to a case examiner – the first stage at which a sanction may be imposed on a dental professional.

This was reported in the GDC’s Fitness to Practise statistical report 2019.

The report also revealed a year-on-year increase in concerns raised by dental professionals, from 10 to 13 per cent, including ‘blue on blue’ cases which are separate to those which are categorised as ‘whistleblowing’ by professionals.

Executive Director of Fitness to Practise Transition at the GDC, John Cullinane, said: "What is clear from these reports is that the large majority of concerns received by the GDC are assessed and completed without sanction, but they also highlight that early engagement in the process will typically end in a smoother resolution to any concern that’s raised, which ultimately must be in everyone’s interests.

"The increase in referrals by registrants also highlights an important issue; while we of course need to avoid any discouragement of whistleblowing or the raising of serious issues affecting patient safety or public confidence, matters such as employment disputes or grievances – which we are seeing on an increasing basis - are not for the regulator to investigate or resolve.

"There’s some really useful insights to be gained here for dental professionals, particularly from the case examples in the short reports, so I’d encourage everyone to take a look."