GDC Is Unable To Review ‘Racially Motivated Comments’ Chair’s Past Cases

GDC Is Unable To Review ‘Racially Motivated Comments’ Chair’s Past Cases

The General Dental Council has said it can’t review cases heard by a former Chair of its Professional Conduct Committee who was suspended a few days ago after offensive and racially motivated comments he made.

Following the revelation that dentist Mr Rashpal Mondair had made the unprofessional racially motivated comments heard by fellow committee members in August 2018, there were calls on social media for the GDC to review any cases that the former PCC chair had been involved with.

On Thursday, GDPUK asked the GDC if it would “Review any cases this dentist has been involved in adjudicating, either as Chair or as a member of an FtP or PCC committee.” 

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the General Dental Council told GDPUK  “Discrimination is unacceptable in any part of professional regulation, and we welcome the decision of the independent fitness to practise panel to suspend Rashpal Mondair’s registration as a dentist. 

No legal right

“The GDC has no legal right to formally review or appeal the fitness to practise outcomes reached by independent panels. Our processes are, however, designed to minimise the risk of discriminatory attitudes affecting fitness to practise outcomes and this case illustrates their effectiveness. In this case, other members of the panel and members of GDC staff reacted instantly to ensure that Mr Mondair had no further involvement in decision making. 

“More generally, our independent fitness to practise panels are always made up of three people and no one individual panellist can determine the outcome. Panellists receive diversity and unconscious bias training at induction and then again each year. Fitness to practise outcomes are also scrutinised in multiple ways both internally at the GDC and through external audit and review.” 

The GDC wrote on its website “On 1 August 2018, Mr Rashpal Mondair, the chair of a GDC fitness to practise panel and himself a registered dentist made a racist comment during a panel hearing at which he was officiating.  Behaviour of that kind is unacceptable from anybody, yet still more so from somebody in a position of trust involved in making judgements about the professional behaviour of others.”

“We are very pleased that the Professional Conduct Committee considering this case has taken decisive action – and in doing so has sent a clear signal that discrimination is unacceptable in any part of professional regulation.” 

“We took immediate action that same day to suspend the hearing of the case Mr Mondair was adjudicating and took immediate steps to ensure that he did not sit in any further cases. We subsequently removed him from acting as a panellist altogether and referred Mr Mondair for a fitness to practise examination of his professional conduct.”

“Our processes are designed to minimise the risk of discriminatory attitudes affecting fitness to practise outcomes and this case illustrates their effectiveness. Other members of the panel and members of GDC staff reacted instantly to ensure that Mr Mondair had no further involvement in decision making. Our Independent fitness to practise panels are always made up of three people and no one individual panellist can determine the outcome. Panellists receive diversity and unconscious bias training at induction and then again each year. Fitness to practise outcomes are also scrutinised in multiple ways both internally at the GDC and through external audit and review.”

“We are not complacent and are well aware that racism and other forms of discrimination are still very real in dentistry, as they are across society. But we are fully committed to ensuring that our regulatory activity is as fair as we can make it, and this demonstrates our making that commitment real.” 

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