1Unless stated otherwise, all notification data is AHPRA data.
The public is best protected by professionals behaving professionally. The Dental Board of Australia’s initiatives support professional practice by dental practitioners by setting the standards and policies for the profession that are enforceable and make sense to both the public and dental practitioners.
This summary highlights some of the Board’s initiatives in 2018/19.
In October 2018, I started in the role as Chair, and the Board farewelled outgoing Chair Dr John Lockwood, its Chair since his appointment in 2009. There were also additional changes to the Board membership, with six new members joining the Board to replace six retiring members.
In 2018, the Board undertook public consultation on the review of the Scope of practice registration standard, and the proposed revised standard was submitted to government in late 2018. In March 2019, Health Ministers agreed to refer the standard to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) to independently assess the patient quality, patient safety implications and consumer benefit of the revised standard, and to report back to Health Ministers in July 2019. While the Commission’s review is underway, the Board is continuing planning and engagement work to support implementation of the proposed revised registration standard.
Following its early discussions with the profession in 2017/18, the Board has continued to options for a framework for continuing professional assurance (revalidation). A key part of this work is to review the Board’s notifications data to identify indicators of risk factors that will inform the development of a proposed framework.
In late 2018, the Board consulted on its proposal to close the Public Sector Dental Workforce Scheme, which was supported by most respondents. The Board is working closely with those affected to coordinate the transition.
The Board started work on the review of its guidelines and associated resources for dental records and infection control, which are closely linked to the code of conduct review.
On 27 June, the Australian Dental Council (ADC), AHPRA and the Board signed a new five-year accreditation agreement starting 1 July 2019. The Board looks forward to continuing its important work with the ADC.
Stakeholder engagement activities continue to be a focus. The Board is testing different ways of communicating and developing targeted messages for different groups.
The Board is also committed to contributing to the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy and is exploring opportunities to support the promotion of culturally safe practice by all dental practitioners.
The Board will progress the development of a dental practitioner support service for every registered dental practitioner and dental student in Australia. The practitioner support service, which will be a confidential information and referral service, is an opportunity for the Board to support the profession and protect the public.
Dr Murray Thomas (dentist), Chair