PREVENTING patient harm and promoting professionalism are the focus of the General Dental Council’s new three-year strategic plan.
The move is part of the regulator’s commitment to "shift the balance from enforcement to prevention".
Launching a consultation into the proposed plan, the GDC pledged to focus investigations on the most serious concerns, such as those that raise issues of public safety or confidence.
The strategy includes plans to embed new principles of professionalism, "providing the dental team the space needed to make informed judgements relevant to the situations faced in practice". The regulator said it will continue to push for changes to legislation to allow it to become “more agile and efficient”.
GDC executive director Stefan Czerniawski said: "Our priority is to continue focusing on ensuring dental professionals on our registers reach and maintain the highest standards, but to be ready to intervene where those standards are not met."
MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny welcomed the GDC's commitment to move from enforcement to prevention.
He said: "Our dentists and their teams are dedicated, highly skilled professionals, and it is vital they receive the support they need to deliver a high standard of care to their patients.
"We agree that the current regulation of healthcare is outdated and in need of reform. We continue to call on the UK Government to act swiftly to ensure the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and fairer for clinicians and patients alike."
The consultation will consider the cost of delivering the GDC’s proposals, which is expected to lead to an increase in the annual retention fee (ARF) of seven per cent for dentists and five per cent for dental care professionals.