Posted by Allie Wright
New guidelines relating to standards expected within the dental profession come into force from today (September 30th).
The principles – issued by UK regulator the General Dental Council (GDC) – were developed as a result of consultations with both patients and the public and put a much stronger focus on patients’ entitlements and expectations.
GDC chief executive Evlynne Gilvarry said: “Patients have told us clearly what they expect when they seek dental treatment. The new standards reflect those expectations and guide the dental profession in meeting them.”
New issues addressed include the need for dental professionals to be fluent in both written and spoken English.
This follows new proposals set out earlier in September in relation to UK doctors – which aimed to give the General Medical Council new powers to force doctors coming into the country from overseas to take part in tests before they are allowed to practice in Britain.
A consultation on the issue is taking place at the moment up until December 2nd, while changes are expected to legally be put in place during 2014.
Emphasis in the GDC guidelines is also being placed on new requirements to display indicative prices for treatment, with rules that price lists should be displayed in a reception or waiting area. This can easily and effectively be achieved through dental marketing posters throughout the practice.
Other points being focused on include a putting patients’ interests first, effective communication with people receiving treatment and ensuring valid consent is obtained before starting procedures and the importance of having a clear and effective means of complaining.
In total, the regulatory body has issued nine key principles, all generally based around protecting patient rights and maintaining the public’s confidence in the dental profession.
A videocast is being made available on the GDC’s YouTube channel to further highlight the standards.