Dental Complaints to be Handled Faster in 2012

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The General Dental Council (GDC) is to unveil new measures in the new year to improve the processing and handling of complaints patients have voiced against certain dental professionals.

The improvement of services will involve seeking clinical advice at an earlier point of each case, which will be given by a panel of advisors working on behalf of the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS).

At the moment the GDC’s Investigation Committee takes all complaint cases concerning clinical treatment and it can often taken six months before each complaint is consider and a clinical opinion is provided. After this process it is often found that action is unnecessary, even though a patient may have needed to wait months for an outcome.

The GDC now want clinical opinions at a much earlier stage, which will allow them to swiftly assess the situation and see it if needs to be taken further, saving both the patient’s and dentist’s time.

Neil Marshall, the GDC Director of Regulations said, “ The changes we are making to our Fitness to Practise processes are all aimed at improving the quality and speed of complaints handling to ensure patients are protected effectively.”


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