GDC Standards of the Dental Team

GDC Standards for the Dental Team

 

To assist with revision for the SJT as we mentioned in the guide, it is still crucial that you all have knowledge of the GDC Standards and Guidance. Over the next few weeks we will try to summarise some of these key topics to assist with your revision.

 

Firstly- who are the GDC?

Answer- the regulator for the dental profession. They keep an up to date list of dental team registrants (dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and dentists). Registrants must uphold the standards expected, and maintain their CPD and indemnity as required to be a dental professional in the UK.

What is the purpose of the GDC Standards for the Dental Team document?

Answer- It explains in extensive detail the standards of conduct, performance and ethics that govern dental professionals.

 

Who does it apply to?

Answer- all members of the dental team.

Team members will include:

  1. Dentists and Dental Specialists
  2. Dental Nurses
  3. Dental Hygienists
  4. Dental and Orthodontic Therapists
  5. Dental technicians and Clinical Dental technicians

What are the 9 principles?

Answer- The following list are the core ethical principles of practice:

 

  1. Put patients’ interests first
  2. Communicate effectively with patients
  3. Obtain valid consent
  4. Maintain and protect patients’ information
  5. Have a clear and effective complaints procedure
  6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients’ best interests
  7. Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
  8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk
  9. Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients’ confidence in you and the dental profession

 

What the most important principle?

Answer- The principles are all equally important and are not listed in order of priority. All dental professionals have an individual responsibility to behave professionally and follow these principles at all times.

 

 

What are the standards for each principle?

Answer- We have copied and pasted the standards for each principle, and written our own small summary below that we think can be useful to help remember the points.  You will not be required to quote or remember the exact details (eg 1.3 states to be honest) but you will be expected to uphold these values and an FD will definitely demonstrate these throughout their career especially at the start as a “safe beginner”.

  1. Put patients’ interests first

You must:

1.1 Listen to your patients.

1.2 Treat every patient with dignity and respect at all times.

1.3 Be honest and act with integrity.

1.4 Take a holistic and preventative approach to patient care which is appropriate to the individual patient.

1.5 Treat patients in a hygienic and safe environment

1.6 Treat patients fairly, as individuals and without discrimination.

1.7 Put patients’ interests before your own or those of any colleague, business or organisation.

1.8 Have appropriate arrangements in place for patients to seek compensation if they suffer harm.

1.9 Find out about laws and regulations that affect your work and follow them.

 

In summary:

If you were a patient- you would want the dentist to listen, respect and treat you as best they can. As a dentist you should have indemnity and work in an environment which is clinically appropriate.

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2. Communicate effectively with patients

You must:

2.1 Communicate effectively with patients – listen to them, give them time to consider information and take their individual views and communication needs into account

2.2 Recognise and promote patients’ rights to and responsibilities for making decisions about their health priorities and care

2.3 Give patients the information they need, in a way they can understand, so that they can make informed decisions

2.4 Give patients clear information about costs

 

In summary:

You should ensure that your patients know all of the appropriate information (risks/benefits/costs etc) so that they can make the best decision regarding their dental health.  

 

3. Obtain valid consent

You must:

3.1 Obtain valid consent before starting treatment, explaining all the relevant options and the possible costs

3.2 Make sure that patients (or their representatives) understand the decisions they are being asked to make

3.3 Make sure that the patient’s consent remains valid at each stage of investigation or treatment

 

In summary:

Consent is crucial for every clinical procedure.

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4. Maintain and protect patients’ information

You must:

4.1 Make and keep contemporaneous, complete and accurate patient records

4.2 Protect the confidentiality of patients’ information and only use it for the purpose for which it was given.

4.3 Only release a patient’s information without their permission in exceptional circumstances.

4.4 Ensure that patients can have access to their records

4.5 Keep patients’ information secure at all times, whether your records are held on paper or electronically.

 

In summary:

Write accurate notes, and ensure data protection compliance

5. Have a clear and effective complaints procedure

You must:

5.1 Make sure that there is an effective complaints procedure readily available for patients to use, and follow that procedure at all times

5.2 Respect a patient’s right to complain

5.3 Give patients who complain a prompt and constructive response

 

In summary:

Patients are allowed to complain- make the procedure available to them

 

6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients’ best interests

You must:

6.1 Work effectively with your colleagues and contribute to good teamwork.

6.2 Be appropriately supported when treating patients

6.3 Delegate and refer appropriately and effectively

6.4 Only accept a referral or delegation if you are trained and competent to carry out the treatment and you believe that what you are being asked to do is appropriate for the patient

6.5 Communicate clearly and effectively with other team members and colleagues in the interests of patients

6.6 Demonstrate effective management and leadership skills if you manage a team

 

In summary:

Work and communicate with the dental team in patients’ best interests. Your manager or boss should support you to do this- and if you are the boss you should ensure that the whole team are appropriately trained with the resources required to competently complete treatments

 

7. Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills

You must:

7.1 Provide good quality care based on current evidence and authoritative guidance

7.2 Work within your knowledge, skills, professional competence and abilities

7.3 Update and develop your professional knowledge and skills throughout your working life

 

In summary:

Ensure your Personal Development Plan (PDP) and Continued Professional Development (CPD) are up to date.

 

 

8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk

You must:

8.1 Always put patients’ safety first

8.2 Act promptly if patients or colleagues are at risk and take measures to protect them

8.3 Make sure if you employ, manage or lead a team that you encourage and support a culture where staff can raise concerns openly and without fear of reprisal.

8.4 Make sure if you employ, manage or lead a team that there is an effective procedure in place for raising concerns, that the procedure is readily available to all staff and that it is followed at all times

8.5 Take appropriate action if you have concerns about the possible abuse of children or vulnerable adults

 

In summary:

Ensure that patients and staff are protected, and have an open door policy to allow for any concerns to be raised and then actioned appropriately

9. Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients’ confidence in you and the dental profession

You must:

9.1 Ensure that your conduct, both at work and in your personal life, justifies patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the dental profession

9.2 Protect patients and colleagues from risks posed by your health, conduct or performance

9.3 Inform the GDC if you are subject to criminal proceedings or a regulatory finding is made against you anywhere in the world

9.4 Co-operate with any relevant formal or informal inquiry and give full and truthful information

 

In summary:

Act as a professional at work and at home- and if your do not, you should tell the truth and work with GDC and your indemnity organisation to protect patients and see the error of your ways as soon as possible.

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Situational Judgement Test practice question- consider the following scenario:

 

You are working as a Foundation Dentist (FD) and you believe you have witnessed one of the associates stealing from a nurses bag at the end of lunch. What would you do? Which Standards of the Dental Team do you feel are important to consider?

 

Reference: GDC (2014) Standards for the dental team

https://www.gdc-uk.org/docs/default-source/standards-for-the-dental-team/standards-printer-friendly-colour.pdf?sfvrsn=98cffb88_2

 

Will

Co- Founder DentalSJT.com

PS. Did you see our blog post last week about the oriel application? If not- check out the link here: https://dentalsjt.com/oriel-application/

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