Project to cut ‘fitness to practise’ cases
The government is taking action in an attempt to cut the number of Scots dentists being brought unnecessarily before GDC disciplinary committees.
The chief dental officer’s office has launched a new pilot project that aims to provide practitioners with a 10-point checklist against which they can benchmark their own performance and so minimise risk.
The pilot comes at a time of soaring levels of concern among dentists in Scotland about the potential of being hauled before the Fitness to Practise committees.
It is being led by deputy CDO Tom Ferris, who told Scottish Dental magazine: “This is absolutely about supporting practices and allowing dentists to see their own performance and their practice’s performance. It will also enable them to benchmark their performance and help them to improve.
“It is also about assisting a practice that is having problems and helping individual clinicians at a very early stage. None of this is disciplinary at all.”
The pilot, which is initially being trialed by four NHS boards – Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian and Forth Valley – is a combination of the Scottish Government’s quality strategy and a project looking into supporting better practice that was being carried out by speciality trainee in dental public health Emma O’Keefe.
Ferris took the proposal to Chief Dental Officer (CDO) Margie Taylor, and a sub-group of the CDO’s quality improvement group was formed to take the project further.
The group, chaired by May Hendry, dental practice adviser at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, identified 10 key indicators covering every aspect of clinical practice on a clinician and practice level.
NHS National Services Scotland was commissioned to build an online ‘dashboard’ to bring together and display all the information to support dentists in the pilot areas.
The pilot will be assessed on a regular basis and progress will be reported to the relevant boards and committees involved.