Dental body has complaint backlog16th January 2012
The General Dental Council - which investigates dangerous or incompetent dentists – is facing a backlog of serious complaints, it has emerged.
To help tackle the number of complaints, it has appointed a new chief executive and more investigatory and hearing staff.
The problems faced by the GDC were at their worst in 2010, when 72 serious complaints had still not been dealt with after nine months.
A report by the GDC’s regulator, the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), on how the body is being run has been drawn up after a government request last September.
That followed the resignation of former chair Alison Lockyer who was unhappy over the way internal disputes between executives and other staff in the GDC were dealt with, while the CHRE was also critical of the length of time it was taking to process the disciplinary cases of dentists and also problems with record-keeping.
CHRE Chief Executive Harry Cayton said: “The General Dental Council needs to refocus all its energy and attention on patient safety and the quality of dentistry.
“That is its job and that is what it needs to do and it needs to put the resources, the time and the attention necessary to do that.”
A total of 1,400 complaints were made to the GDC in 2010.
Since the appointment of a new chief executive Evlynne Gilvarry in October 2010, the backlog of cases has fallen from 72 to 51.
She said: “We’ve put in a reform programme and 12 months on, we're in a much stronger position.”
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