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Queen's Speech disappoints dentists

General Dental Council

2 min read Partner content

The Government has failed to keep its promise to reform the complaints procedure on health professionals has been condemned by the nation’s dentists.

The General Dental Council(GDC) said it is “extremely disappointed” at the lack of a Bill to reform the legislation governing the health professional regulators in today's Queen's Speech.

It said reform is “critical to patient protection”.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar Evlynne Gilvarry said:

"The Government has known for years that we need legislation to improve patient safety and avoid increasing costs to professionals.

“We urge the Government to act swiftly now by introducing a Section 60 Order to effect the most urgent changes so that the GDC can continue to carry out its duties effectively to protect patients."

The dentists’ governing body said its ability to protect patients and deal with complaints is currently hampered by antiquated legislation and an “outdated, inefficient and expensive processes that we are unable to reform without the permission of Parliament”.

The Law Commission has drafted a Bill to reform the health regulation system in the UK but it is now expected that this Bill will not be introduced to Parliament until after the election.

“We have been urging Government for the last three years to implement specific changes aimed at improving our ability to protect patients and reduce our costs,” Gilvarry said.

“One significant change on its own would enable us to save up to £2 million a year - a cost that must be borne by the dental profession.

“At present our outdated processes mean that patients have to wait longer for their complaints to be heard, and dental professionals whose fitness to practise has been questioned will not be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.”

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