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Monday 26th August 2019

Dental school staff 'overworked'

13th November 2012

The union for lecturers at Queen's University Belfast has stated that it is worried about the pressure on dentists affecting patient care after a report showed a high number of unfilled position at the School of Dentistry.

Dentist Chair

The president of the University College Union, Professor Mike Larkin, said "patients must be better protected".

A General Dental Council (GDC) report criticised the amount of positions which had not been filled at the university.

The GDC said teachers' work had increased by up to a fifth and it sometimes had an impact on their own interaction with patients.

Inspectors wrote in the report: "we feel that the intensity of the course and the commitment of the staff cannot be maintained for much longer...it was our strong feeling that the programme is in an extremely fragile state." 

Professor Larkin said the university needed to concentrate on hiring new staff. He added: "I am sure they are committed to finding new members of staff to come into the school and I believe that is a good thing."

"But I believe they have to get on with the job of getting more staff to assist those existing staff in the dental school and their efforts to maintain a high standard." 

The university released a statement which said it was committed to increasing the number of filled posts and "although this is a challenging process that takes time, the university remains both 'pro-active' and 'flexible' in its approach to senior clinical appointments within the dental school."

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