General Dental Council (GDC)

24 June 2013

The GDC has published a report which contains the results of its first “horizon scanning exercise”. This exercise was undertaken to seek to ensure that the GDC is able to adapt to changes in the nature of dental provision. Questionnaires were sent to stakeholders including professional associations and defence organisations to elicit their views on current and expected trends in dentistry and issues likely to affect how the GDC regulates dental professionals in the future. A facilitated workshop was also held with members of the GDC’s Policy Advisory Committee comprising of the GDC’s Chair, Chief Executive, and the four Chief Dental Officers for the UK.

The report covers issues such as changes to health service provision across the UK, technological developments in dentistry, changing patient expectations, demographic and social changes that affect dental provision and the possible impacts of changes to dental education.

Going forward, similar exercises will be carried out annually to inform the strategy and policy development of the GDC.

20 June 2013

The GDC and Groupon (a company whose website offers daily deals to subscribers) are working together to guard against the promotion of illegal tooth whitening.

Tooth whitening can only legally be undertaken by individuals who are regulated by the GDC; specifically dentists, or hygienists or therapists working to a dentist’s prescription.

Groupon has already taken action not to offer tooth whitening deals from individuals who are not regulated by the GDC. The GDC is now seeking similar assurances from other ‘daily deals’ companies.

17 June 2013

The GDC is seeking to reach out to patients and registrants with a new ‘YouTube’ channel.

Three videos have been added to the site which explains what happens at GDC hearings and the roles of witnesses and Fitness to Practise Panel members at these hearings.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

24 June 2013

The HCPC’s consultation on proposed changes to the standards of proficiency for speech and language therapists closed on 28 June 2013. The HCPC produces profession-specific standards for each of the 16 professions they regulate. In 2009 the HCPC started to review these specific standards to ensure they are appropriate and applicable to individual professions.10 June 2013

On 10 June 2013, the HCPC launched an eight week consultation to seek the views of stakeholders on guidance for registrants in relation to professional indemnity cover and registration.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

The NMC announced two appointments in June:

Jackie Smith, who has been acting Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC since January 2013, was appointed to this role on a permanent basis on 19 June 2013.

On 17 June 2013, the NMC announced that it had appointed Mott McDonald to operationally deliver quality assurance of nursing and midwifery education and the supervision of midwives.

From September 2013, the NMC’s quality assurance activities will be carried out within a new framework. This framework aims to:

  • Increase lay involvement through the increased use of reviewers who are neither nurses nor midwives.
  • Increase the proactive management of risk by ensuring that all relevant institutions have appropriate safeguards in place to protect the public.
  • Reduce the burden of regulation on well-performing education institutions and Local Supervising Authorities (LSAs) over the three year cycle.
  • Ensure that quality assurance focuses on outcomes of education and supervision of midwives as opposed to dictating how standards should be met.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

On 5 June 2013, the GPhC announced that its Chair, Bob Nicholls CBE, has decided not to seek re-appointment for a second four-year term. Mr Nicholls will leave the role in early 2014.