Cqc Regulation Step Too Far Says Dental Professionals Association
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Regulation of dentists by the Care Quality Commission is a solution in search of a problem, according to the Dental Professionals Association.
Yet the effect it will have on many dentists will be quite literally unbearable, with many smaller practices practically forced out of business, the DPA claims.
The comments, from DPA chief executive Derek Watson, were made in response to a submission to the Government's YourFreedom website by Dental Law Partnership MD, Chris Dean, calling for dentists to be placed outside CQC regulation.
Under current plans, all dental professionals - including dentists, nurses, hygienist, therapists and orthodontic therapists - need to register with the CQC by April 1 next year.
They will all then fall under the regulation of the CQC, which was set up by the Labour Government in 2009 to act as a watchdog for large health and social care organisations such as NHS Trusts and private hospitals.
But in the submission to YourFreedom, dentist and practising solicitor Chris Dean, of the Dental Law Partnership, claims that the CQC regulations duplicate those already in place and policed by the General Dental Council (GDC) and therefore will not improve patient safety in any way.
Mr Dean, joint MD of Dental Law Partnership, whose directors are all qualified as both dentists and solicitors, said: "As both dentists and solicitors, we are profoundly concerned regarding the impact of the CQC regulation upon the delivery of dental care in England.
"It is not likely to produce any significant improvement in patient safety or treatment outcomes, yet will increase the administrative and financial burden upon individual practitioners, the CQC itself and, ultimately, on central government."
The submission, which within days had gained the support of more than 100 people, adds: "It would therefore be an unnecessary and wasteful use of significant resources."
Mr Watson added: "The Dental Professionals Association agrees with this submission. There are no problems within the dental profession that cannot be dealt with by the existing quality assurance mechanisms, including the General Dental Council and commissioning bodies' inspect and testing powers.
"Dentistry is not associated with long-term care. Applying an extra tier of CQC administration and inspection to dentistry (while taking belly-button piercers and tattoo artists out of CQC regulation) is a step too far.
"This is a solution to a problem that does not exist."
YourFreedom was launched by deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, as the Government sought the views of the public for which laws were unnecessary and harmful to small businesses.
While the Coalition Government has not yet promised to respond to any of the submissions made since the site was launched late last month, it is hoped that those which are well-supported will be considered for reform.
The Dental Law Partnership (DLP) was established on 1st August 2000 by former dentists David Corless-Smith and Greg Waldron.
DLP is currently the only firm of solicitors with a team of in-house dental experts to advise its legal department on the specifics of each case. The team assesses all aspects of the patient's history, whether or not the dentist followed procedures correctly and if the case should be pursued further.
To date, it has acted on behalf of more than 3,000 people in England and Wales in respect of dentists failing to provide their patients with adequate care.
DLP is a member of the Law Society and is a Lexcel-accredited practice. DLP provides clients with a range of funding options with the majority of cases being run on a conditional fee agreement.