News in brief: June 2019
GDC warnings on personal conduct
It has been revealed that a significant number of warnings issued by the General Dental Council (GDC) relate to a dentist’s personal conduct.
The details came to light following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the GDC by the company Dental Protection. They show that 29 per cent of the warnings issued by the GDC in the past five years relate to personal conduct matters. Three-quarters of these were given as a result of a driving offence. In light of this information, it has been proposed that dentists should check the extent of the indemnity they have, as not all organisations provide protection against GDC investigations relating to personal conduct. Any dentist without appropriate cover would have to pay personally for this legal support when faced by the regulator.
Meanwhile, another notable statistic from the FOI request showed that 27 per cent of warnings issued to dentists related to record-keeping.
Safety strategy consultation
The GDCl has launched a consultation on its strategy for 2020-22 “Working with the dental team for public safety and confidence”. The consultation seeks a conversation about the choices to be made in delivering the regulator’s broad statutory objectives.
The deadline to respond is Thursday 30 July 2019. It can be accessed at: www.gdc-uk.org
Prison project for students
A group of dental students at the University of Dundee School of Dentistry have been given an award by the Oral Health Foundation for a project looking at oral health improvement and education within prisons.
Fourth-year dental students at Dundee were asked to select an area or group in the local community. They were then tasked with raising awareness of oral health in these groups by showing how to develop good oral health routines. As part of their degree, the students worked in tandem with voluntary and community organisations which helped them reach out to individuals with mental health issues, the homeless and those with learning disabilities. The winning group of students was tasked with tackling oral health for the residents of the Scottish Prison Service within HMP Perth.
NHS expenses exercise
GDPs providing NHS Scotland General Dental services have been invited to take part in the annual expenses exercise. Participation is voluntary, but practices are being encouraged to take part by the Scottish Government, as the data collected will help inform future pay award for GDPs. Practices will be asked to complete a simple, online accounts template. Participants are asked to provide information on expenses, practice income, and staff numbers for the three financial years, 2015-18.