Remediation of Dentists in Difficulty

The Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors (COPDEND) has assisted with the remediation of dentists in difficulty for many years. In the past the number of cases being referred to deaneries has been low. The gradual transition to a more litigious society and a heightened awareness of the need to address poor professional performance has resulted in a marked increase in the number of cases requiring remediation. There has been a threefold increase in the number of cases heard by the General Dental Council in the past five years. The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) has received more than 450 requests for advice in the past 7 years.

The Postgraduate Dental Deans in England determined that in the interest of protecting the public and in light of the need for appropriate quality assurance of remedial training, it would be beneficial to develop a framework for handling these cases.

Following a national workshop of stakeholders involved with dentists in difficulty, COPDEND subsequently established a working party of key stakeholders to prepare guidance on the management of these cases both for deaneries and for those agencies referring to them.

The remit of the working group was to develop a framework for COPDEND members and stakeholders to use in order to facilitate the appropriate remediation of registered dentists whose performance has been found to be below accepted levels for the profession and to describe appropriate referral pathways for that remediation, agreeing wherever possible the processes that will be followed to maximise the likelihood of a successful outcome.

It was agreed by all the stakeholders that ultimate responsibility for the remediation rests with the registrant. The role of the deanery is to provide assistance in drawing up a remediation action plan, to give advice on resources available to the registrant, to monitor the milestones in the action plan and to report back to the referring agency.

The cost of a remediation programme is also the responsibility of the registrant, although support may be available from other sources.

To download the guidance notes please click here