My Summary of the GDC standards
Updated: May 23, 2021
The GDC (general dental council) has a list of standards that I've read through and highlighted the one's I find interesting/ important. This should be useful for interviews and ethics questions.
Put patients’ interests first
Communicate effectively with patients
Obtain valid consent
Maintain and protect patients’ information
Have a clear and effective complaints procedure
Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients’ best interests
Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
Raise concerns if patients are at risk
Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients’ confidence in you and the dental profession
In order of importance
1. Put Patient's Interest first
Interests will be put before financial gain and business needs
You may need to balance their oral health needs with their desired outcomes.
If their desired outcome is not achievable or is not in the best interests of their oral health, you must explain the risks, benefits and likely outcomes to help them to make a decision.
If you work in a practice that provides both NHS (or equivalent health service) and private treatment (a mixed practice), you must make clear to your patients which treatments can be provided under the NHS (or equivalent health service) and which can only be provided on a private basis.
You must not mislead patients into believing that treatments which are available on the NHS (or equivalent health service) can only be provided privately. If you work in a purely private practice, you should make sure that patients know this before they attend for treatment.
In rare circumstances, the trust between you and a patient may break down, and you may find it necessary to end the professional relationship. You should not stop providing a service to a patient solely because of a complaint the patient has made about you or your team. Before you end a professional relationship with a patient, you must be satisfied that your decision is fair and you must be able to justify your decision. You should write to the patient to tell them your decision and your reasons for it. You should take steps to ensure that arrangements are made promptly for the continuing care of the patient
2. Communicate effectively with patients
To know how much their treatment will cost before it starts, and to be told about any changes
3. Obtain valid consent
Patients can withdraw their consent at any time, refuse treatment or ask for it to be stopped after it has started. You must acknowledge their right to do this and follow their wishes
3. Maintain and protect patients' information
You must keep patient information confidential even after patients die
In exceptional circumstances, you may be justified in releasing confidential patient information without their consent if doing so is in the best interests of the public or the patient. This could happen if a patient puts their own safety or that of others at serious risk, or if information about a patient could be important in preventing or detecting a serious crime. If you believe that revealing information about a patient is in the best interests of the public or the patient you should first try to get the patient’s permission to release the information.You should do everything you can to encourage the patient to either release the information themselves or to give you permission to do so. You must document the efforts you have made to obtain consent in the patient’s notes.
Although patients do not own their dental records, they have the right to access them under Data Protection legislation. If patients ask for access to their records, you must arrange for this promptly, in accordance with the law.
In some circumstances you can charge patients a fee for accessing their records
6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests
You should work with another appropriately trained member of the dental team at all times when treating patients in a dental setting.
7. Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk
Your duty to raise concerns overrides any personal and professional loyalties or concerns you might have
If it is not appropriate to raise your concern with your employer or manager, or if they fail to act on your concern, you must raise your concerns with your local commissioner of health or with the appropriate body from the following: o the Care Quality Commission o Healthcare Inspectorate Wales o The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority o Healthcare Improvement Scotland You can also get advice from your defence organisation or professional association.
If you think that the public and patients need to be protected from a dental professional registered with the GDC, you must refer your concern to us. This may be appropriate when: o taking action at a local level is not practical; or o action at a local level has failed; or o the problem is so severe that the GDC clearly needs to be involved (for example, issues of indecency, violence, dishonesty, serious crime or illegal practice); or o there is a genuine fear of victimisation or deliberate concealment; or o you believe a registrant may not be fit to practise because of his or her health, performance or conduct.
9. Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients' confidence in you and the dental profession