Dental body's complaints backlog

By January 16, 2012 January 2nd, 2020 No Comments

The body which investigates dangerous or incompetent dentists has been battling a backlog of serious complaints, the BBC has learned.

The problems at the General Dental Council were at their worst in 2010, when 72 serious complaints had still not been dealt with after nine months.

That compares to a total of 224 serious complaints referred during the year.

The GDC has since appointed a new chief executive, and increased the number of investigatory hearings and staff.

The council is responsible for monitoring the dental professional. But its own regulator, the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), was asked by the government in September 2011 to report on how it is being run. The findings are expected by the end of January.

The investigation followed the resignation of its former chair, Alison Lockyer, who complained about how internal disputes between executives and other staff in the GDC were dealt with.

Patient safety

Last year the CHRE wrote two audits which were critical of how long it took to process the disciplinary cases of dentists. It highlighted problems with record-keeping, including an instance of important information recorded only on a Post-it note.

“The General Dental Council needs to refocus all its energy and attention on patient safety and the quality of dentistry,” said CHRE Chief Executive Harry Cayton…read more

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