MDDUS backs calls for impact of Covid-19 to be factored into regulators' decision making
The publication of the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care's (PSA) ‘Learning from Covid-19’ review looks at reforms and changes that have taken place at health professional regulators in response to the pandemic. Some have been positive, but the PSA noted further changes will be required.
Commenting on the report, Stephen Henderson, head of dental division at MDDUS, said, “Dentists have given their all throughout the pandemic, often in circumstances that put them in harm’s way or required them to work beyond their usual scope of practice.
“So, it is welcome progress to see the PSA endorse our view that work will need to be done to assess the impact of Covid-19 on practice and how this should be taken into account in the regulators’ processes and decisions.
“We now look to the PSA and the health professional regulators to work together to ensure dentists and other regulated professionals can have peace of mind that they will be treated fairly and proportionately, in the case of a complaint or regulatory process, while patients are reassured their rights are protected.
“Anything less would be a poor response to the many thousands of healthcare professionals who have risked their health, and that of their families, to respond to this national emergency.
“In addition, we agree with the PSA that the pandemic has highlighted an urgent need for regulatory reform. We urge caution to those who want to rush to see this work concluded.
“Reform must be fundamental, long lasting and wide-ranging, as we will not see value in the reform process unless it is delivered across the board. In particular it will be vital to ensure reform of the General Dental Council does not lag behind other regulators including the GMC.”