GDC seeks 24 dental professionals for Fitness to Practise panel
GDC Head of Adjudications, John Cullinane, said: 'There is no part of our lives that the current pandemic has not touched, and these are exceptionally worrying times for everybody. Several weeks in to the lockdown we, like many organisations, are faced with tough decisions about what work can and should resume. While all but the most urgent fitness to practise hearings are currently suspended, we know that when restrictions are lifted, we’re going to need to work through the hearings which have been delayed by all of this.
'That makes the search for new panellists, to replace those reaching the end of their term, all the more important and this is why we’ve decided to push ahead now.'
The available positions, which pay £353 plus expenses per day, are for panellists to sit on the GDC’s statutory committees which hear evidence and rule on dental professionals’ fitness to practise, following investigations.
Those with an interest need to be available for 20-25 weekdays per year (for at least a week at a time) and be able to demonstrate their ability to analyse complex information and work with sensitive issues.
There are many benefits, beyond renumeration, for professionals sitting on the panel.
Helen Baker, a dentist who currently sits on the panel, said: 'I think it’s increased my value to my practice, in that my continued exposure to the common pitfalls in dentistry has allowed me to highlight significant matters to my team. I also appreciate the skills and experience I have gained more generally, as they will stand me in good stead if I were to consider a career change, away from clinical dentistry, in my later years. I’d have been very sorry to have missed the opportunity to be a panellist.'
Jacky Hart, a dental therapist who also sits on the panel, said: 'Every case you sit on is different and, as a clinician, I think it pushes you out of your comfort zone. It’s also made me much more reflective about my own skills. I think my colleagues were initially quite sceptical about it, but I find I’m now asked for advice due to the experience I’ve gained.'
All positions are for an initial four-year term, with a maximum length of service of eight years.
John Cullinane said: 'While the GDC organises the committees, those who sit on the panel are very much independent. We have a maximum length of service in place to ensure that independence is maintained, and our representative mix of panellists is refreshed. It’s for these reasons that our search for the right people is so important, and I really hope to see applications from members of the whole dental team, of all ages and backgrounds.'
For more information about the roles and to apply, visit gdc-uk.org.