General Dental Council publishes results of in-depth survey
LONDON, UK: As part of the General Dental Council’s (GDC) commitment to using evidence and insight to guide its work, the regulator has recently published the results of its 2018/19 Patient and Public Survey. The research, which includes both quantitative and qualitative elements and represents the seventh survey since 2011, examined public attitudes on various key issues relating to dentistry and how the profession is regulated.
“We undertake this regular research primarily to ensure we have a good understanding of current public attitudes in relation to our work. But the survey’s scope is very broad and is, therefore, highly relevant to anyone who works in dentistry, so I’d really encourage everyone to take a look at the results,” said GDC Head of Regulatory Intelligence David Teeman.
In the survey, the participants were asked where they think the regulator should focus its attention most. The findings show that most of the respondents opt towards prevention rather than taking action once something has gone wrong. “It is encouraging that overall, almost three quarters of the public were confident in GDC regulation of dental professionals and also support the GDC’s focus on preventing bad practice ‘upstream’, as well as taking action when serious issues are raised,” Teeman continued.
Additionally, the majority of the respondents (73%) were confident that the GDC was effectively regulating dental professionals. Those who were not confident explained that they were not even aware that dentists were regulated or that they had had a bad personal experience of dental care. The research also found that only 64 % of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were confident that the GDC is regulating effectively, compared with 74% of people from white backgrounds. The GDC is considering further research to better understand this issue.
Finally, the public were asked for their views on paying for services and care, and whether that influenced their expectations of dentists compared with other healthcare professionals. Although responses were mixed, two in five (39%) either strongly agreed or tended to agree that they expected more from dentists than other healthcare professionals since they pay for treatment.
More information about the survey can be found here.