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Professional Defence Solicitors for Dentists
If the General Dental Council (GDC) has made allegations against you or has confirmed its intentions to investigate your practice, the consequences for your reputation can be severe. The professional defence solicitors at JMW have helped many dentists and dental practitioners successfully defend against a variety of charges.
In such cases, dentists can be struck off, or face hearings that seriously damage their professional reputation and ability to work. However, we will work tirelessly to help you to secure your desired outcome, and your professional future.
We are highly knowledgeable on all aspects of professional regulation and will advise you on your rights and means of legal recourse when you are facing a professional discipline issue.
If your matter is urgent, our solicitors can help you 24 hours a day. Call us on 0800 804 8186 to access expert legal advice whenever you need it.
How JMW Can Help
Our team will examine the specific circumstances of your case and support you throughout the entire process, helping you to appeal against any decisions that you believe to be unjustified and working to protect your professional standing.
We have acted on cases involving:
- Poor performance
- Criminal behaviour
- Serious misconduct
- Professionals who are suffering from mental health issues and may be deemed unfit to practice
We have many years of experience in handling GDC investigations. As well as criminal allegations made against dental professionals, we are best placed to help you:
- Understand GDC legislation
- Prepare responses to GDC committees
- Represent you during GDC hearings
- Provide advice during police station interviews
- Appeal decisions made by the GDC
Whether you have received a referral, are currently under investigation or are facing a hearing or trial, we can provide expert preparation and representation that protects your interests.
In addition, we can assist with matters such as:
- Guidance on the procedure for disciplinary hearings
- Preparing for interviews and helping you to draft written representations and responses
- Advising on legal challenges and appeals made against a regulatory decision
- Providing legal support for individuals facing penalties and disqualification
All dentists in the UK are regulated by the GDC, a body tasked with setting standards and taking action against medical professionals who breach laws and regulation. All UK dentists must register with the GDC, while other dental professionals who are also regulated by the GDC include:
- Clinical dental technicians
- Dental and orthodontic therapists
What should I do if I have received a notification from the GDC?
If you have received a notification from the GDC of an investigation, you should not directly respond without first seeking initial legal advice, as anything you say may be used against you.
It is vital you have the best legal support throughout the investigative process, ensuring you are aware of your options and understand the best course of action to take.
What happens during a GDC investigation?
When the GDC conducts an investigation, there are a number of steps the body will take to gather evidence. These steps include:
- Taking written statements from the complainant and any other relevant parties
- Interviewing employers and colleagues
- Obtaining the complainant’s dental records
Once evidence has been gathered, your case will be examined and you will be asked to provide a response. Our solicitors can assist you in writing a suitable reply in cases where responding is a viable option.
The case examiners will review all the information that has been provided, deciding whether the case should be referred to one of the GDC’s Practice Committees, which include:
- The Professional Conduct Committee
- The Professional Performance Committee
- The Health Committee
If there are no grounds for a referral to be made, your case could conclude with no action.
Alternatively, it could be concluded with advice, or a formal warning could be issued on your registration.
If a referral is made, you will be invited to a public hearing where your fitness to practise will be judged and a sanction will be decided.
What are the potential outcomes of a GDC Committee hearing?
At the end of a GDC hearing, you could face one of the following sanctions depending on the committee’s decision:
- A formal statement of the GDC’s disapproval could be issued
- Conditions could be set on your registration for a maximum of three years
- Suspension of your registration for a maximum of 12 months
- Permanent removal from the dental registry