Greater flexibility for dentists with additional development needs

DENTAL professionals in England who are subject to conditions or undertakings following a fitness to practise hearing can now choose who provides their development support.

From October 1, they can choose their own development adviser and will no longer be required to arrange this through Health Education England (HEE).

The move follows a decision by HEE to no longer take new referrals for support to dental professionals from September 30, which it said is a result of a review of postgraduate services.

The General Dental Council (GDC) said it will offer guidance and signposting to organisations offering support, but development advisers can be “anyone who meets the minimum requirements”, subject to the regulator’s final approval.

Conditions or undertakings are applied in cases where there is a fitness to practise cause for concern and where it is proportionate to remedy the issue through a defined restriction, such as the completion of development work and supervision.

Previously, dental professionals faced bills of around £850 for development support from HEE. Under the new scheme, fees will be decided between the dentist and their adviser.

GDC executive director, fitness to practise, John Cullinane said: “Our aim is to ensure that those with conditions or undertakings are appropriately supported, to help get them back to unrestricted practice as soon as they are able, and we’re pleased to be able to provide this greater flexibility in how that support is arranged.”

Further information, including updated supporting documentation, is available on the GDC website

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