Dentistry: Migrant Workers

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th January 2023.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the consultation outcome entitled Changes to the General Dental Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council's international registration legislation: government response, published on 28 November 2022, if he will take steps to reconsider his Department's response to question 13; and whether his Department is taking steps to help tackle the concerns of the respondents who disagreed with that proposal.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Order amends the General Dentist Council’s (GDC) legislation so that international dentist qualifications cannot on their own be used in support of an application to the Dental Care Professional (DCP) register.

Whilst we recognise that the majority of respondents to the public consultation disagreed with this proposal, we intend to proceed with this amendment in the interests of patient safety. The Government and GDC recognise dentists and DCPs as distinct professions. The GDC’s priority must be on ensuring only suitably qualified people join the professions and this amendment ensures consistency between the United Kingdom and international routes, since qualified dentists cannot apply to join the DCP register using their dentistry qualification.

The amendment will enable the GDC to process applications from dentists to join the register as DCPs that are received up until the day before the Order comes into force. This ensures that any 'live' DCP title applications submitted before the legislation is passed will be processed.

The GDC will be introducing improvements to the Overseas Registration Exam which will support increased examinations capacity and help those dentists who may previously have utilised the DCP register route to complete the GDC registration process more quickly.

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