Case examiners move is welcomed by BDA
New appointments will take over the decision-making functions of the Investigating Committee at the GDC
The introduction of case examiners by the General Dental Council (GDC) is a step in the right direction, according to the head of the British Dental Association (BDA).
The regulator’s 14 new case examiners started work at the beginning of November and will carry out the decision-making functions previously performed by the Investigating Committee.
BDA chair Mick Armstrong said: “Increasing registration fees combined with lengthy complaints processes and a history of poor performance have left dentists with a serious lack of trust in their regulator. The BDA supported the move towards case examiners when it was first suggested as a way to speed up and improve the Fitness to Practise process.
“However, while this is a step in the right direction, the proof is in the pudding. We look forward to seeing how these changes translate into financial savings, appropriate decision-making and a faster resolution to some cases as part of an overall improvement in performance and credibility.”
Jonathan Green, director of Fitness to Practise at the GDC, said: “Introducing case examiners will benefit patients, the public and dental professionals and improve the efficiency of the GDC’s fitness to practise process.
“By not having to frequently convene an Investigating Committee, we will be able to make decisions quicker than before which benefits patients. We can take action straight away action to support the dental professional to improve his practise. This new way of working is also more cost-effective, and at the same time relieves unnecessary stress to the dental professional.
“Where a professional demonstrates insight into their failings, remorse and a desire to remediate, we now have a mechanism to be much more proportionate and to agree undertakings in suitable cases without having to hold a full hearing.”