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Dentists take failing regulator to judicial review

Today (17 October 2014) the British Dental Association (BDA) announced it has initiated judicial review proceedings against the professional regulator the General Dental Council.

The GDC, which has faced heavy criticism from the Professional Standards Authority on the way it deals with patient complaints, has recently announced its desire to increase the professional fees paid by dentists by 64%. The BDA has accused the GDC of failing to provide clear evidence of the policy or business case that have underpinned the mooted fee rise - rendering the regulator’s case unlawful.

GDC plans would see dentists fees rise from £576 to £945 - the highest fee charged by any comparable healthcare regulator, and they will have no choice but to pay, as they must be registered with the GDC in order for them to practise lawfully.

The BDA has recently revealed evidence showing that barely two in 10 of its members believe the GDC regulates effectively.

Mick Armstrong, Chair of the Principal Executive Committee of the British Dental Association, said:

“We are taking unprecedented action because dentists are not prepared to subsidise failure. We are being asked to pay the price for our regulator’s mismanagement, and we won’t stand for it.

“Patient safety is best served by an effective and efficient regulator. But instead we’ve seen heavy handed tactics, botched complaints handling, and a total absence of accountability. That’s bad for patients and bad for practitioners.

“We are determined to fight for fair fees and decent regulation. We have given the General Dental Council every opportunity to demonstrate they have built a reasoned, evidenced and lawful case for this fee hike. They have chosen not to respond, and now we will leave it to the courts to decide.”

A full guide to the Judicial Review process is available on the BDA website.

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists.