COVID Delayed Manchester Students From Qualifying

COVID Delayed Manchester Students From Qualifying

The General Dental Council has revealed that Greater Manchester School for Dental Care Professionals agreed to delay the qualification of Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy diploma students, after an inspection failed to assure the regulator that students ‘Are safe beginners.’

The GDC said the extension of the diploma programmes for hygienists and therapists at the Greater Manchester School for Dental Care Professionals, is being managed by Manchester University NHS Trust after the school closed on 31st March of this year.

The DCP school’s diploma qualifications are awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The GDC said on its website on September 2nd, that it had made changes in order to assure education standards “to meet the challenges of COVID-19.”

The GDC said “In 2021 some education providers with final year cohorts required a follow-up inspection in cases where the evidence provided was insufficient to demonstrate that all GDC Learning Outcomes had been achieved (and) all students satisfied the criteria of safe beginner, paying particular attention to an appropriate level of clinical experience.”

The GDC listed six dental education centres where follow-up inspections were carried out.  These included the dental degree programmes at  King’s College London, University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, University of Central Lancashire and the University of Highlands and Islands.

The GDC said that it was satisfied that the BDS and BChD programmes it followed up did “Assure us that students are safe beginners.”

In its inspection summary at the Greater Manchester School for DCP’s, the GDC said “We concluded that the programme did not assure us that the graduating cohort of students would be safe beginners.”

‘We were not assured that students had received sufficient clinical experience across a full range of clinical procedures.”

The report went on to say “We were not assured that students had received sufficient access to clinical experience across a range and breadth of patients to assure us of a safe level of clinical competence.”

The report said “The purpose of this inspection was to determine whether the current graduating cohort of students will meet the required standards expected of a safe beginner for registration with the GDC.”

“The impetus for this targeted inspection was the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the ability of education programmes to provide the requisite level of experience to their students both in terms of clinical and non-clinical skills.”

“The Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Diploma in Dental Therapy programme (“the Diploma”) at the Greater Manchester School for Dental Care Professionals (“the School”) was inspected because the evidence gathered prior to the inspection did not assure the GDC that the current final year students would meet the safe beginner standard.”

“The GDC said it was not assured that all GDC learning outcomes would be met by the point of graduation and there was a lack of detailed documentary evidence to support the school’s sign-up process.”

The regulator also said that one other area it was  concerned with,  was the absence of a suitable COVID-19 Risk Assessment Plan.

The GDC said on its website “Whilst some indication of updated Standard Operating Procedures had been given and there was reference in the January 2021 GDC questionnaire to potentially deferring students and providing further clinical activity, there was no evidence of an adequate risk assessment having been carried out.”

GDPUK understands the students should finish their course this month.

Salford City Council announced a few months ago that the closure of the Greater Manchester School for Dental Care Professionals would mean there would no longer be a dental service available at the Eccles Gateway Dental Department.

The Council said “Appointments are no longer available as the students are finalising treatment for patients that need care before the school closes.”

“As of 31 March 2021, the school will close. Therefore, you will need to find another dental service suitable for your needs.”

It concluded “The staff of the Greater Manchester School for Dental Care Professionals would like to thank all patients for their support during our time at the Eccles Gateway Dental Department.”

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