Latest updates from the GDC - August 2021

Dental care professional CPD statements due by 28 August

The renewal period for dental care professionals closed on 31 July. Those who have not yet made a CPD statement are reminded to complete this important step to ensure continued registration.  

Dental care professionals who did not declare their CPD when they renewed, will now need to login to their eGDC account and make an annual or end-of-cycle statement before 28 August 2021. Dental care professionals will need to make a CPD statement, even if they have not met the requirements, for reasons relating to COVID-19.

CPD statements should be made in the normal way, even if there is a shortfall in hours (related to minimum hours in a cycle, or the 10 hours over two years rule) due to COVID-19. We will be getting in touch with those who have not met the requirements, after the deadline has passed, to advise them of what they need to do next.  

Those with questions or concerns should contact us though our website.   

Announcing the new GDC Chair and Council Member  

Last month we announced the appointment of our new Chair, Baron Harris of Haringey (“Lord Toby Harris”) and new Council Member, Angie Heilmann MBE. Both will take up their appointments on 1 October 2021. Find out more about these appointments on our website. 

Crispin Passmore to step down from Council  

Council Member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Crispin Passmore, has confirmed that he will step down at the end of the year to focus on other commitments. On the announcement, Bill Moyes, Chair of Council, said:  

“I thank Crispin for his service to the GDC. Crispin has brought excellent challenge to our thinking about our role in protecting the public and his experience and insight has served us well. I’m pleased that he will continue with this role until the end of December and be part of our transition to a new Chair of Council in October.” 

New COVID-19 research starting in September

We are currently commissioning new research to understand the ongoing and emerging impacts of COVID-19 on dental professionals and practices across the UK. This new study will build on the research findings published in December 2020, and is due to start in September.

Over 9,000 dental professionals responded to the research questionnaire last time around, and over 50 of them participated in focus groups, ensuring results were robust and included voices from a range of settings and business models. The findings have been widely reported and shared with policy makers and members of parliament.  

So that we continue to be evidence-led in understanding the scale of the impact and what is needed to support sector recovery, we will be providing the opportunity for all dental professionals on our register to take part in this next round of independent research.  

We are also supporting the UK-REACH study looking at the impact of the pandemic on health professionals across the UK. The team’s work on ethnicity and vaccine hesitancy amongst UK healthcare workers will be of interest, and has been recently published in The Lancet Europe

GDC publishes Annual Report and Accounts 2020    

We have published our 2020 Annual Report and Accounts along with a series of web pages providing highlights from the report.  

2020 was a challenging year for us all due to the pandemic and our report provides a comprehensive overview of the work we undertook during the year, including how we responded to COVID-19 and how we continued to meet our statutory functions and obligations throughout the year. We would like to thank all of our stakeholders for your efforts in achieving so much positive change, during such a challenging year.

The full report can be downloaded or view the highlights from the report on our website, which include the joint message from our Chair and Chief Executive, key achievements in 2020, and overviews of our fitness to practise, registration and financial performance.  

Introduction of the Health and Care Bill 

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care introduced the Health and Care Bill to the House of Commons on 14 July. The Bill includes provisions to put the Health Services Safety Investigation Body (HSSIB) on a statutory footing, to give powers to the Secretary of State to reorganise healthcare professional regulators, such as the GDC, and to bring healthcare professions in, or out, of the boundaries of regulation.

Find out more about the Health and Care Bill on the UK Parliament website. 

CDO Scotland appoints three new Deputy Chief Dental Officers 

Today the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland has announced the appointments of three new Deputy Chief Dental Officers in Scotland.  

The successful candidates bring a wealth of experience to their roles, which will support the continuing remobilisation and recovery phase, as well as contributing to the development of Scotland’s major programme of change in the delivery of NHS oral health care.

Zahid Imran currently works in NHS Tayside’s Public Dental Service, as well as undertaking a Specialty Dentist (Restorative) role at Dundee Dental Hospital.

Gillian Leslie is a General Dental Practitioner and Practice Owner in East Lothian. She has a career background in the Royal Navy, has a special interest in Oral Surgery and is qualified in IV sedation.

Gavin Mclellan is a General Dental Practitioner in Fife, and Vocational Training Advisor with NHS Education Scotland. He has been Senior Dental Advisor in Scottish Government since 2018, and latterly, Interim Deputy Chief Dental Officer.

The Deputy Chief Dental Officers will form an integral part of the Scottish Government’s network of senior clinical advisers. They will support the Chief Dental Officer, Tom Ferris, in shaping future government policy, and ensuring that ministers and senior officials receive appropriate professional advice.  

The new Deputy Chief Dental Officers will be in post from the start of September 2021. 

New ‘Learn from patient safety events’ service goes live   

In support of patient safety improvements across the NHS in England, primary care staff and organisations are being encouraged to start recording events directly onto the new national Learn from patient safety events (LFPSE) service portal.

The new system started its roll out in July, replacing the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS), which is now no longer in use. Aiding local safety improvement, LFPSE also gives primary care organisations better oversight of the incidents they report. The system can also help practitioners with CPD and reflective practice.

It is important that patient safety events are recorded, both when things go right, and when they don’t go to plan - ensuring learning takes place, trends are identified, and patient safety is improved. You can find out more about the LFPSE service portal online. 

Ongoing suspension of the ORE 

Safety restrictions brought in as part of the COVID-19 response in 2020 made it necessary to suspend Parts 1 and 2 of the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) last year.

It has always been our aim to resume the ORE as soon as it is safe and viable to do so, and we hoped to be able to run an exam in September this year. However, in consultation with our exam providers, it is now clear that this will not be possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in all clinical settings. Further information on the ORE suspension is available on our website.