Principles And Legal Rules For The GDC Standards


The GDC has set 9 principles to maintain the standard of NHS. These principles are to be followed by all the dental professionals including hygienists, therapists, technicians, dentists and dental nurses equally.

These are:

Principle 1: Put Patients’ Interests First


  • Listen to your patients: discuss treatment options with patients
  • Treat every patient with dignity and respect at all times: be aware of how your tone of voice and body language, be sensitive to their individual needs and values., should manage patients’ dental pain and anxiety
  • Be honest and act with integrity: You must act honestly and should not mislead anyone in any kind of promotion or advertisement.
  • Take a holistic and preventative approach to patient care which is appropriate to the individual patient: take account of patients’ overall health, their psychological and social needs, must explain the risks, benefits and likely outcomes to help them to make a decision.
  • Treat patients in a hygienic and safe environment: For it you must be careful for the disposal of clinical and other hazardous waste, radiography, health and safety, decontamination, medical devices. Also, you have all necessary vaccinations and follow guidance relating to blood-borne viruses., follow the guidance on medical emergencies and training updates issued by the Resuscitation Council (UK), record all patient safety incidents and report them promptly to the appropriate national body.
  • Treat patients fairly, as individuals and without discrimination: You must not discriminate against patients on the basis of age, gender, marriage, civil partnership etc.
  • Put patients’ interests before your own or those of any colleague, business or organisation: not mislead patients into believing that treatments which are available on the NHS, not pressurise patients into having private treatment if it is available to them under the NHS, must refuse any gifts,

            • should take steps to ensure that arrangements are made promptly for the continuing care of the patient

  • Have appropriate arrangements in place for patients to seek compensation if they suffer harm: must have appropriate insurance or indemnity in place to make sure your patients can claim any compensation to which they may be entitled

            • should inform about insurance terms and conditions.

  • Find out about laws and regulations that affect your work and follow them: must follow rules and regulations related to data protection • employment • human rights and equality • registration with other regulatory bodies.


Principle 2 Communicate Effectively With Patients


  • Communicate effectively with patients – listen to them, give them time to consider information and take their individual views and communication needs into account: should take their specific communication needs and preferences into account where possible and respect any cultural values and differences., must be sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English as in UK, English is spoken mostly.
  • Recognise and promote patients’ rights to and responsibilities for making decisions about their health priorities and care: explain the options (including those of delaying treatment or doing nothing) with the risks and benefits of each

             • Give full information on the treatment you propose and the possible costs.

             • Give patients the information they need, in a way they can understand, so that they can make informed decisions: must give patients a written treatment plan, or plans, before their treatment starts and you should retain a copy in their notes. You should also ask patients to sign the treatment plan.

  • Give patients clear information about costs: make sure that a simple price list is clearly displayed in your reception or waiting area., should tell your patients whether treatment is guaranteed, under what circumstances and for how long. You should make clear any circumstances under which treatment is not guaranteed


Principle 3: Obtain Valid Consent


  • To be asked for their consent to treatment before it starts: Obtain valid consent before starting treatment, explaining all the relevant options and the possible costs, make sure that patients understand the decisions they are being asked to make


Principle 4: Patient Expectations


  • Make and keep contemporaneous, complete and accurate patient records: -to-date medical history, Radiographs, consent forms, photographs, models, audio or visual recordings of consultations, laboratory prescriptions, statements of conformity and referral letters all form part of patients records where they are available
  • Protect the confidentiality of patients’ information and only use it for the purpose for which it was given: Must keep all the information confidential and respected.
  • Only release a patient’s information without their permission in exceptional circumstances: If he is victim of abuse or like that
  • Ensure that patients can have access to their records: As per Data protection legislation If patients ask for access to their records, you must arrange for this promptly, in accordance with the law.
  • Keep patients’ information secure at all times, whether your records are held on paper or electronically: All the records should be computerised and must be kept secure even if they are being send electronically.


Principle 5: Have Clear and Effective Complaints Procedure


  • Patient’s complaint procedure: Make sure there is effective complaint procedure for patients.
  • You must respect a patient’s right to complain: Patient should be respected while complaining.


Principle 6: Work With Colleagues in Way That Is in Patients’ Best Interests


  • Work effectively with your colleagues and contribute to good teamwork: You must be fair with you team while treating or in financial transactions.
  • Be appropriately supported when treating patients: Always try to be with safe and trained hands unless its emergency.
  • Delegate and refer appropriately and effectively: You can pass on your work nut still should be accountable for the treatment and must not take advantage of your powers.
  • Accept a referral or delegation only if: you are trained and competent to carry out the treatment and you believe that what you are being asked to do is appropriate for the patient.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with other team members and colleagues in the interests of patients. Any discussion or decision taken should be noted.
  • Demonstrate effective management and leadership skills if you manage a team: Whether GDC registered or not you should lead in a way, GDC guidelines don’t hamper.


Principle 7: Maintain, Develop and Work Within Your Professional Knowledge and Skills


  • Provide good quality care based on current evidence and authoritative guidance: If anything affects your work or deviate from you from the rules should be documented with reason.
  • Work within your knowledge, skills, professional competence and abilities: You must work within your mental and physical capabilities and should refer if you find yourself incompetent for the same.
  • Update and develop your professional knowledge and skills throughout your working life: All the way to your work journey learning should be a part and CPD must be followed.


Principle 8: Raise Concerns if Patients Are at Risk


  • Always put patients’ safety first. Any concern should be raised if that is not safe for the patient.
  • Act promptly if patients or colleagues are at risk and take measures to protect them.
  • Make sure if you employ, manage or lead a team that you encourage and support a culture where staff can raise concerns openly and without fear of reprisal.
  • Make sure if you employ, manage or lead a team that there is an effective procedure in place for raising concerns, that the procedure is readily available to all staff and that it is followed at all times.
  • Take appropriate action if you have concerns about the possible abuse of children or vulnerable adults.


Principle 9: Make Sure Your Personal Behaviour Maintains Patients’ Confidence in You and the Dental Profession


  • Justifies patients’ trust: Ensure that your conduct, both at work and in your personal life, justifies patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the dental profession.
  • Protect patients and colleagues from risks: If you doubt about a patient’s safety consult an experienced staff.
  • Inform the GDC: If you are subject to criminal proceedings or a regulatory finding is made against you anywhere in the world.
  • Co-operate with any relevant formal or informal inquiry: and give full and truthful information.

I hope this article was able to make you understand in easy language about the GDC standards and the legal rules associated with these standards. The source of the information is GDC Official Website. You can visit the official link directly to peep deeper.

I hope it was worth giving your time in reading the whole article. In case of further questions/queries, you may contact Our expert team will respond to you at the earliest.

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