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Principle One

Put patient's interests first


Principle Two

Communicate effectively with patients


Principle Three

Obtain valid consent


Principle Four

Maintain and protect patients' information


Principle Five

Have a clear and effective complaints procedure


Principle Six

Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests


Principle Seven

Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills


Principle Eight

Raise concerns if patients are at risk


Principle Nine

Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients' confidence in you and the dental profession


Principle Six

Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests


Learning Material Case Study

Treating colleagues with respect Treating colleagues with respect

Mr Thompson is a dentist. On a number of occasions Mr Thompson shouted repeatedly at the dental nurse that was assisting him when he treated patients and he made comments of a sexual nature to another dental nurse.

Mr Thompson also threw a broken orthodontic appliance at the mother of a child patient and accused the patient and their mother of lying about how the appliance had been broken. The issues were reported to the GDC.

The fitness to practise caseworker considered that Mr Thompson may have breached a number of the standards and guidance in Standards for the Dental Team including (but not limited to):

  • 1.2 You must treat every patient with dignity and respect at all times
  • 1.2.1 You should be aware of how your tone of voice and body language might be perceived
  • 1.2.3 You must treat patients with kindness and compassion
  • 6.1.2 You must treat colleagues fairly and with respect, in all situations and all forms of interaction and communication. You must not bully harass, or unfairly discriminate against them.
  • 9.1 You must ensure that your conduct, both at work and in your personal life, justifies patient’s trust in you and the public’s trust in the dental profession.

The Investigating Committee thought that Mr Thompson’s behaviour was unprofessional and decided to refer him to the Professional Conduct Committee.

When the Professional Conduct Committee considered the case it said that it was never acceptable to shout at members of staff and that throwing an orthodontic appliance at a patient’s mother was deplorable The committee considered that Mr Thompson’s conduct fell far short of appropriate standards of behaviour expected by the profession and had brought the profession into disrepute. The committee thought the most proportionate sanction was to issue Mr Thompson with a reprimand.

Working in a busy work environment can be stressful but you must remain professional at all times.

Acting unprofessionally affects people’s confidence in you and in the profession as a whole. You have a responsibility to treat all colleagues and patients with respect at all times and you need to remain calm at all times.

Maintain appropriate boundaries with your staff and if you are a manager or team leader, you shouldn’t take advantage of your position.