The General Dental Council has named a lack of communication between managers as the reason for slipping standards at Queen’s University in Belfast. The Council voiced concern that this was damaging students’ education and was ultimately putting public safety at risk, commenting that ‘There is very poor communication between the various parties involved in the delivery of the programme’.
Suggestions to modernise the training programmes, improve leadership, and bring in more specialist teachers were put forward, in the hopes that this would turn the tide and improve the standard of teaching. The GDC’s reports was severely critical of the university, commenting on the ‘overall lack of joined-up thinking. Inspectors were unhappy with the low number of clinical sessions involved in students’ timetables, something which contributes greatly to the amount of practical experience received. A re-inspection is scheduled for early next year.
Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, Patrick Johnston, said that they were aware of the problems and the staff were working on some solutions, saying that; ‘We recognise there was a lack of communication between the various bodies and that may have impacted on students. Now it’s time to move forward.’
In an attempt to rectify the situation, Queen’s University have added four new posts to the team, with three more in the works for the next six months.