As you will all be aware, by the 31st July it will be time for DCPs to have declared their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours to the GDC. The undertaking of CPD is a legal requirement for all members of the dental team, and we will all have been busy building up both our verifiable and non-verifiable hours for the end of this CPD year.
DCPs will also be familiar with the key topics that are ‘highly recommended’ within the verifiable hours. These include medical emergencies, disinfection and decontamination, and radiography and radiation protection. Further ‘recommended’ topics listed are complaints handling, legal and ethical issues, oral cancer and safeguarding.
The umbrella term of ‘safeguarding’ has become more prevalent in dentistry in recent years. With high-profile cases of child neglect being given prominence in the media, failings within agencies that give care to the public have been made clear. There has therefore been vast improvements in training and how the different agencies communicate in order to stop children or vulnerable adults ‘slipping through the net’. The GDC Standards for the Dental Team document (www.gdc-uk.org) states (8.5.1):
"You must raise any concerns you may have about the possible abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults. You must know who to contact for further advice and how to refer concerns to an appropriate authority such as your local social services department."
The GDC Standards require that all DCPs must take an active role in recognizing signs of abuse and neglect.
Author: Amy Shipman BA, RDN