As a registrant member of Council and the Chair of the GDC’s Policy and Research Board (PRB), I believe it is essential that we listen to our registrants and actively seek their views on the issues in dentistry that matter to them. Through listening and understanding these concerns, we can prioritise our work to aim to address them, where it is within our remit. It was with this aim that we recently hosted a registrant workshop at April’s meeting of PRB, to give the attendees the opportunity to talk to Council members and the Executive team and highlight any issues they might have.
There was an understandably broad range of topics discussed during the meeting, with dentist and DCP representatives from all roles highlighting topics ranging from concerns with education and training, to stress within the profession and the climate of fear. Where we were able to, we tried to answer the questions or concerns, providing insight into what we are doing as an organisation to address them. Where that was not possible, we discussed the emerging themes with the registrants to jointly consider how best we could work towards aiming to address the issues moving forward.
Some of the points raised during the day are highlighted below.
- Education – The differences in standards that occur across education providers, the importance of peer groups in learning and how to ensure that the GDC standards are embedded in education.
- The dental team – Recognising the importance of all members of the dental team in providing effective patient care and addressing the hierarchy that can exist and sometimes creates barriers to team-working.
- Climate of fear – The causes and how we can address these, the detrimental effect of a 'no win, no fee' culture.
- Stress – How pressure to hit targets can trigger stress and what we can do to recognise and address that within our remit.
- Cosmetic dentistry – The change of focus and demand for consumer services over healthcare.
- Social media – The use of social media to attract new customers, research techniques and provide peer networks. Whether what is displayed is a fair representation of what is achievable.
PRB are currently reviewing our notes from the day and considering how best to address the issues raised. I would like to thank the participants for taking the time out of their busy schedules to engage in the workshop. Your views were greatly appreciated and enormously valuable to us and will help us in shaping and developing our workplans moving forward.