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General Dental Council (GDC) lawyers

Our lawyers provide specialist legal advice to dentists, dental technicians and other dental care professionals facing proceedings before the General Dental Council. Our team has experience of acting for clients at all stages of proceedings. For immediate advice from one of our specialist GDC lawyers call 01616 966 229.

If you are facing disciplinary proceedings before the GDC, it is vital that you seek specialist assistance without delay in order to protect your interests and safeguard your practise. Our specialist professional discipline lawyers have experience of advising and representing clients in a variety of matters before the GDC. Our recent cases have included allegations concerning professional conduct, clinical performance, inadequate treatment, indemnity insurance issues and complaints handling.

We also have experience of acting on behalf of dental technicians in relation to ‘scope of practice’ investigations carried out by the GDC. We have been instructed in a number of these cases and have specialist experience of advising clients on scope of practice matters. 

  • Professional Discipline & Fitness to Practise Lawyers

    Head of Regulatory Law Carl Johnson talks about the role his team take in professional discipline and fitness to practise issues. Carl discusses the sort of cases the team at Stephensons can handle, the possible outcomes of professional discipline investigations and why legal advice is vital.

    "This area of law involves cases which are often highly emotionally charged. For a professional to be under scrutiny by their regulator or professional body that can create a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety and put clients under a lot of pressure. A specialist lawyer provides a much needed barrier between the professional and their regulator and can help absorb some of that pressure and stress, and that's an important service that we provide to our clients." - Carl Johnson


Why choose Stephensons?

Our firm is recommended by the Legal 500 for professional disciplinary work. We have a network of offices, including London & Manchester, allowing us to act for clients nationwide. We understand the needs and anxieties of clients facing a possible restriction of their practise or in some cases the potential loss of livelihood. Taking a pro-active approach to defending cases we pride ourselves on achieving the best possible outcomes for clients.

Our lawyers act for clients at all stages of proceedings before the GDC, including:

  • Advising dentists and dental care professionals with professional registration issues
  • Providing specialist advice during initial referral and investigation
  • Preparation of written responses to the Investigating Committee
  • Representation at Interim Orders Committee (IOC) hearings
  • Representation at Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hearings.
  • Representation at Professional Performance Committee (PPC) hearings

For examples of our previous cases, please visit our case studies page.

Specialist legal advice

It is important that you seek specialist advice before responding to correspondence from the GDC. Any response which is made should be carefully considered in order to protect your interests and to avoid prejudicing your case. For a confidential, no-obligation discussion regarding your case, contact one of our specialist GDC lawyers on 01616 966 229. Alternatively please complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you as a matter of urgency.

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Frequently asked questions

A concern has been raised about me, will I lose the right to practice?

When a concern is raised the GDC may investigate your clinical performance, health, your professional conduct or issues outside of your practice. There are several stages when looking into a concern and most concerns will not result in you being erased from the register. It is important that you engage with the process effectively so as to maximise your prospects of a positive outcome.  

What will happen during an investigation?

There are a number of stages and depending on the concern and what each stage finds the case may not necessarily proceed to hearing. It is important to seek specialist advice at the outset as there may be opportunities to conclude the investigation during its early stages.

If a concern is raised about you, in the first instance it will go to the Initial assessment team who will either allocate a case worker or close the case and advise those involved. At the next stage a caseworker will involve obtaining and assessing relevant evidence and then determining whether formal allegations should be drafted for consideration by the case examiners. A caseworker may look at the following:

  • in clinical cases: getting patient records and clinical advice
  • in health cases: getting medical/psychological reports
  • in criminal case: getting certificates of conviction and or police reports.

If the case proceeds to the case examiner stage, the evidence which has been obtained will be disclosed together with formal allegations. You will be invited to respond to those allegations and provide relevant evidence, for example references, evidence of remediation and other supporting documents. The case examiners will not make findings of fact but will determine how to dispose of the matter. This may include closing the investigation, issuing warnings, or referring the matter to a practice committee.

It is also important to note that at any stage during the investigation your case may be referred to a hearing before the Interim Orders Committee. This committee will consider whether action needs to be taken to restrict your registration while the case is ongoing.

Who will hear my case?

If the case examiners refer the matter to a hearing, this may be heard by one of a number of practice committees:

  • The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) will consider allegations of professional misconduct and misconduct outside of practice which impacts upon a practitioner’s suitability to remain on the register.
  • The Professional Performance Committee (PPC) looks at cases where a practitioner’s clinical performance is alleged to fall below acceptable standards.
  • The Health Committee (HC) deals with cases where it is alleged that a practitioner’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of physical and/or mental health.

What sanctions could I face?

Reprimand: This is a statement of the committee's disapproval, but a practitioner remains free to practise with no restrictions and so no other action needs to be taken.

Conditions: This is where restrictions are placed on the practitioner’s registration for a set amount of time. The conditions may include requirements for supervision, training and evidencing improvement to the GDC.

Suspension: The committee can suspend a practitioner’s registration. This means that the registrant cannot work as a dental professional for that set period of time.

Erasure: This is the most serious sanction as it removes a practitioner’s name from the register. This means that they can no longer work in dentistry in the UK. A practitioner cannot apply for restoration until five years have elapsed.

4.7out of 10
4.7 score on Trustpilot Based on count 985

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