GDC fitness to practise report reveals ethnic disparity

  • Date: 11 August 2022

A DISPROPORTIONATELY high number of fitness to practise concerns received by the General Dental Council (GDC) in 2021 were raised against Asian or Asian British dentists compared to their proportion of the total register.

These findings have been revealed in the GDC Fitness to Practise Statistical Report 2021.

Cases involving Asian or Asian British dentists accounted for 28 per cent of the total number raised compared to their proportion of the total register (24 per cent). The report found that White dentists were underrepresented (43 per cent of all concerns raised) when compared to their proportion of the register (50 per cent).

The GDC reports that equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data is provided by almost 92 per cent of professionals and this has now made it possible to include a reliable breakdown of cases by EDI characteristics, including ethnicity.

GDC Executive Director of Fitness to Practise, John Cullinane, said: “This is the first time we have published EDI data in the context of fitness to practise and we’re in the early stages of understanding what it tells us, and how we can use it in our work to ensure there is no discrimination in any of our process. What we do know is that EDI analysis is complex and, as such, the data in our reports should not be used in isolation to draw conclusions as many other factors may be relevant, such as practice location, size of practice or local demographics.

“We are committed to developing the data we hold and our understanding of it, and we look forward to sharing further insights as our work progresses.”

The 2021 report also revealed that only 19 per cent of all fitness to practise cases raised went to hearing, with only 4 per cent resulting in sanctions. Most concerns were raised by patients (45 per cent in 2021) compared to those by other registrants (9 per cent in 2021).

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.

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