GDC decision quashed at Court of Session

Scottish dentist has public warning overturned after indemnity organisation takes case to a Judicial Review

20 September, 2017 / infocus
 

Indemnity provider Dental Protection has successfully overturned a GDC decision relating to a Scottish dentist who had self-reported a driving conviction.

An initial GDC Investigating Committee (IC) was adjourned so that legal advice could be sought on whether, given that the offence occurred in Scotland, the matter would have resulted in a conviction in England and Wales, missing the point that the GDC’s guidance applied throughout the UK.

A second IC was then convened and issued a public warning to the dentist.

Given the challenges that the dental profession in Scotland has faced in recent years, it is important that inappropriate decisions made by the GDC are challenged

Helen Kaney, Head of Dental Services Scotland at Dental Protection

Dental Protection requested a review of the second IC decision and argued that the GDC had misinterpreted its own guidance in relation to whether this second IC was required, in terms of the guidance, to issue a warning. That review was declined by a further IC.

Given the implications for the dentist concerned of having to declare a GDC warning in future, with the agreement of the dentist, Dental Protection proceeded to a Judicial Review of the case in the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The GDC did not oppose the granting of the petition and the decisions of the ICs were reduced, meaning the GDC warning was overturned. Dental Protection’s advisers also ensured the anonymity of the dentist involved by enrolling a motion for anonymity.

Helen Kaney, Head of Dental Services Scotland at Dental Protection said: “I am delighted that we were able to successfully challenge the unjust decisions made by the GDC Investigating Committees.

“Given the challenges that the dental profession in Scotland has faced in recent years, it is important that inappropriate decisions made by the GDC are challenged. Dental Protection members in Scotland can be assured that we will appropriately advise our members at all times and fight for them where we consider that there has been injustice.”

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