Latest updates from the GDC - February 2022

Deciding when statutory regulation is appropriate for health and care professionals 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is seeking views on the arrangements for deciding which health and care professions should be regulated in future. Its consultation Healthcare regulation: deciding when statutory regulation is appropriate is now open and provides an opportunity to consider this fundamental question of patient protection.  

Although there are no immediate plans to introduce or remove professions from the scope of regulation, the Health and Care Bill includes new powers for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to decide which professions should be regulated. This consultation from DHSC invites views on what should be considered when taking such decisions.  

The consultation is due to close on 31 March 2021.


Changes to vaccination requirements in England from April 2022 are now subject to a public consultation 

The Government's planned changes to vaccination requirements in England from April 2022 are now being considered for withdrawal, through a two-week public consultation. This means that the deadlines for the dental team to be vaccinated by 1 April in England no longer apply.  

We continue to encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated. This is in keeping with the Standards for the Dental Team, which require professionals to provide a safe environment for patients (1.5) and to manage the risks of their own health (9.2). 

A view from the GDC's Chair: regulating dental professionals in the four nations 

The Chair writes about our role as regulator in the four nations of the UK and meeting Chief Dental Officers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Chair also met with Healthwatch in January, commenting on shared interests in how regulators, in general, can access and engage with the voice of the patient and public in policy-making and service delivery. Understanding the views of patients and the public is critically important.

We’ve also continued our student and trainee engagement programme, engaging with people at the start of their career in dentistry. You can read more about how we’re building positive relationships with the next generation of dental professionals on our website.  

Total number of registered UK dentists remains stable following renewal

The number of dentists on the UK Register, following the recent annual renewal period, has remained stable and in line with the trajectory of previous years.  

While these figures provide a useful benchmark for the total number of dentists registered in the UK, it is important to note that they do not provide insight into the number of professionals working in different patterns (e.g. full time vs. part time), how many dentists are working in NHS dental services compared to private practice, local workforce conditions, or the numbers of professionals working in different roles (e.g. academic).

You can find further details on our website

Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme  

Recognising the major threat global warming presents to our health, the NHS is the world’s first health service to commit to reaching net zero emissions. Supporting the drive to deliver a greener NHS, the Chief Sustainability Officer is inviting applications to the Clinical Fellow Scheme.  

Successful candidates will step out of clinical practice for 12 months to work in collaboration with NHS senior leadership, teams and partners to deliver on key projects that will accelerate progress towards a net zero health service. They will gain an unparalleled understanding of health and climate change policy while developing strong leadership and management skills, supporting them to become sustainable healthcare leaders of the future.

The scheme values the diverse skills and experiences of clinicians from all professions and welcomes applications from allied health professionals, dentists, doctors in training, healthcare scientists, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists from across the UK. 

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2022

Updated Health and Care Visa guidance  

UK Visas and Immigration has updated its guidance on the UK Health and Care Visa. The Health and Care Visa is part of the Skilled Worker Visa. Anyone wishing to apply for the Health and Care Visa must meet all of the requirements for the relevant route.  

The revised guidance came into force on 29 January 2021