Supervising provisionally registered dentists will increase workload and accountability, DDU says

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has raised concerns about the increased workload and accountability for dentists taking on the supervision of provisionally registered colleagues who qualified overseas.

Responding to Department of Health and Social Care provisional registration for overseas-qualified dentists the DDU says it has profound misgivings about whether the system being proposed is workable and practical from a workforce and patient safety perspective.

John Makin, head of the Dental Defence Union (DDU), said:

“These proposals raise a number of challenges around supervision and accountability. We are concerned about the impact on qualified dentists being asked to supervise a potentially large number of provisionally qualified colleagues. The GDC will need to consult on the rules, as supervisors would undoubtedly be held accountable via fitness to practise proceedings for any failures in their supervision and mentorship. At a time where, sadly, a GDC culture of fear still exists within the dental professions – we cannot emphasise enough how important it will be to get these rules right, and ensure they are balanced, proportionate and fair.

“In addition, we anticipate that it will be extremely challenging to find the required number of dentists to provide appropriate supervision. This is based on our experience of the current difficulties in finding supervision for a small number of dentists who have conditions imposed via the GDC’s fitness to practise process. If these plans were to go ahead, there are likely to be a significant number of provisional registrants needing supervision for a broad range of needs.”

“It’s important that the GDC makes the process of registration for colleagues who qualified overseas as smooth as possible while discharging its key duty, that of ensuring patient safety. To that aim, it’s paramount that those practising dentistry in the UK have the appropriate skills and qualifications.”