"It's time the GDC practised what it preaches" – BDA

21 August, 2014
 

The chairman of the British Dental Association’s (BDA) Principal Executuve Commitee Dr Mick Armstrong has described the General Dental Council’s (GDC) latest announcement on misleading advertising as “a vanity project from a regulator in crisis”.

The GDC announced yesterday that it had signed a joint commitment with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to tackle misleading marketing.

The BDA have pointed out that the regulator recently spent £27,715 on an advertising campaign encouraging complaints from private dental patients, including a full page colour advert in the Telegraph that garnered criticism from across the profession.

Dr Armstrong said: “How fitting that in the week Facebook announces a ‘satire’ tag word reaches us the GDC is to team up with the ASA on ‘irresponsible’ advertising.

“A quick glimpse at the GDC website has assured us we are not looking at a spoof, but the latest vanity project from a regulator in crisis.

“The dental regulator has just spent thousands on a campaign that is clearly at odds with its own policy on advertising. It’s time the GDC practised what it preaches.”

A statement from the BDA continued by saying: “The GDC’s guidance states that adverts help patients make informed choices about their dental care and ‘advertising that is false, misleading or has the potential to mislead, is unprofessional, may lead to a fitness to practise investigation and can be a criminal offence’. The guidance also advises dental registrants to provide ‘balanced, factual information which enables them (patients) to make an informed choice about their treatment’.

“The regulator’s Telegraph advert failed to mention that patients could discuss matters with their dental practice directly, before enlisting the support of the GDC’s Dental Complaints Service (DCS). Instead of referring to local resolution as a first step to addressing concerns, the GDC advert encouraged patients who are ‘not completely happy’ with their private dental care to contact the DCS.”

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