Scotland’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups had been scheduled to be introduced late in 2010, but there was a delay to ensure that the groups affected by the changes in the law were adequately prepared.
Dentists have a legal obligation to register themselves and their staff with the General Dental Council, which already has its own ‘Standards for dental professionals’ guidelines, and under the new PVG scheme will now be expected to share information about their staff with the government.
At the moment, the GDC has not been told what information it has to share with the PVG scheme about staff, but it is most likely to be any details or concerns that a dentist or hygienist may pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults. Information can pass both ways under the new programme, with the GDC able to ask the PVG body for information on anyone who has applied to register with them as a dental member of staff.
The GDC is examining how the Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme will affect the way they currently monitor their staff and how they can use the programme for their own benefits. Dental bosses are currently in talks with members about what kind of information should be shared with government bodies, to ensure dentists’ privacy, as well as children and vulnerable groups, are protected.