The General Dental Council (GDC) made the decision to stop listing the full addresses of dentists and dental care professionals on its public register.
They have chosen, instead, to make the registration number the main method of identifying the professional standing of a registrant.
The decision was made following discussions with The Department of Health and The Professional Standards Authority, as well as professionals and patients, and now the GDC will consult on whether or not they should publish the home location of a dental professional.
Chair of the GDC, William Moyes, has said:
“This is an important decision which shows the council has listened to and considered the views of patients, the profession, other regulators, the Department of Health and the Professional Standards Authority. We must balance public protection with protecting personal information.”
“Publishing an address does not interfere with our duty to protect the public, or the purpose of the register, but could potentially pose a risk to a dental professional.”
Moyes went on to say:
“We committed in our three year road map Patients, Professionals, Partners and Performance to be more transparent and, where appropriate, to actively consider a range of views about the decisions we take. I would encourage dental professionals to always display their registration number as good practice. This will help to identify people carrying out dentistry unlawfully when they’re not on the register, such as in cases of illegal tooth whitening.”
Although changes cannot be implemented immediately, The British Dental Association has explained that it is pleased with the decision to end the practice of putting registered dentists addresses online. There will have to be a public consultation before the change is put in motion due to the governing rules and regulations, however, BDA Chairman Mick Armstrong stated:
“The publication of addresses was unnecessary, and out of line with other regulators, as well as a potential risk to registrant safety.”
“The BDA has campaigned long and hard on getting this policy changed.”
“The process of change is slow, but we expect the GDC to remain on course and implement this vital change.”
“We hope that the GDC continues to adopt such a proportionate approach to all of its regulatory responsibilities.”
Do you think it’s safer to have registrants personal details removed from the GDC’s public registrar?