Dentists are being urged to have their say by the General Dental Council (GDC) on major consultations which could changeUKdental regulation.
Firstly, the GDC is considering removing restrictions that prevent a patient from seeing any other dental professional before they see a dentist and are referred.
The only current except to this rule is for clinical dental technicians who are already able to provide full dentures to patients without teeth, without the need for a prescription.
Under the new “direct access” proposals, registered dental care professionals would have the option to provide services to patients without the patient having to see a doctor first.
The proposals were first called for by the Office of Fair Trading at the beginning of the year, which were then welcomed by the Department of Health.
The GDC also wants to hear from dental professionals regarding new standards of conduct, performance and ethics, which all professionals will have to follow.
The new standards include:
- Making patients clear about services provided on the NHS and those that can only be provided on a private basis
- Providing a simple list of costs if providing treatment in clearly visible area, such as a waiting room or reception
- Being sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English in order to properly communicate with patients.
All dentists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental therapists and orthodontic therapists must be registered with the GDC and meet its standards throughout their careers to work legally in the UK.
To have a say on the proposals, dentists should visit www.gdc-uk.org