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					                                                              Item 14
                                                              Council
                                                 3 & 4 September 2008



             Annual Review of Welsh Language Scheme


Purpose of paper                  For approval

Mission statement/business plan   To be open and transparent


Issues                            Annual review of the Welsh Language
                                  Scheme



Recommendations                   See paragraph 11



Authorship and origins of paper   Gordon Miles


Presentation to Council           Gordon Miles


Further information               Gordon Miles
                                  GMiles@gdc-uk.org
                                  T: +44 (0)20 7887 3823
Introduction

1.    Under the terms of the Welsh Language Scheme Council should review compliance
      with the Scheme annually.

Discussion

2.    The GDC has adopted the principle that in conducting its public business in Wales,
      it will treat the Welsh and English languages equally. This Welsh Language
      Scheme (the Scheme) identifies how the GDC will administer this principle when
      providing services in Wales.
3.    The General Dental Council Welsh Language Scheme was prepared in accordance
      with the Welsh Language Act 1993. The Scheme was approved by the Welsh
      Language Board under section 14 (1) of the Act on 7 November 2006.
4.    This Report outlines the second year of the Scheme’s implementation and is
      reported to Council in the format required by the Welsh language Board.
5.    The GDC believes that bilingual provision is important as a quality of service issue
      not just as a legal requirement. To this end, when providing services to the public in
      Wales, it will treat the English and Welsh languages equally and has now been
      operating this principle for almost two years.
6.    The actions undertaken in implementing the Scheme in the past year, with some
      actions that will need to be undertaken in the future, are set out in Annex A.

Equality and Diversity Implications

7.    The Council has a commitment that policies, practices and initiatives will move the
      GDC closer to implementing the principle of equality and diversity at every
      opportunity. Ensuring equality of access for the Welsh speaking populations is part
      of that commitment.

Communications Implications

8.    These are contained in the main body of the report.

Standards Implications

9.    There are no standards implications arising from this report.

Resource Implications

10.   In order to fully implement the Welsh Language Scheme, budgetary resource has
      been put in place for translation and interpretation services.

Recommendations

11.   That Council consider this report and, if appropriate:
      a.    Accepts this report, and


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b.   that the Annex forms the basis of the General Dental Council report to the
     Welsh Language Board.




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                                                                               Annex A

                     The General Dental Council
               Implementing the Welsh Language Scheme
                      Key Themes for Year Two

Background

1.   The General Dental Council is a public authority which promotes the interests of
     patients and the public by regulating dental professionals in the UK. All dentist
     professionals must be registered with the Council to work in the UK. We operate
     two distinct registers one for Dentists and the other for Dental Care Professionals
     (DCPS) : dental hygienists, dental therapists, clinical dental technicians, dental
     technicians, dental nurses and orthodontic therapists are known collectively as
     DCPs.
2.   The work of the Council covers:

      registration of qualified dental professionals from the UK, the EEA and non-EEA
      countries;
      setting standards of dental practice and behaviour;
      quality assurance of dental training programmes;
      dealing with complaints about dental professionals;
      taking action if a registrant is no longer fit to practise.


Forward planning

3.   The General Dental Council has put in place appropriate arrangements to make
     sure the Scheme is implemented consistently and to a satisfactory standard across
     the organisation by reviewing the work programme which embeds the scheme in
     Council working. The work plan has been reviewed as part of the exercise to
     produce this Annual Report and new actions will be considered and developed in
     the coming year (one notable introduction will be that when our website is
     developed further, the on-line Registers will be available in Welsh).

Awareness

4.   Individual members of staff and the organisation corporately are updated on the
     Scheme and people know what actions are needed to implement every aspect of
     the Scheme successfully. Information about the Scheme and the requirements
     placed upon staff are included in the Induction Programme.

Supporting the Scheme

5.   The GDC makes available resources for translation services for oral and written
     communication and publishes literature in Wales in both Welsh and English.


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Bilingual skills and activities

6.   Arrangements are in place to meet the need of bilingual interpretation skills; these
     were used for the first time in 2007 at the Council meeting in Cardiff in September.
     At this Council meeting a bilingual interpreter was available to translate for English
     only speakers for any member of the public wishing to ask questions using the
     Welsh language.
7.   Since our last review of this matter we have undertaken a range of activities as
     follows:
     a.    In January 2007, the Joint UK Health and Social Care Regulators' Public and
           Patient Involvement Group (of which the GDC is a member) wrote in Welsh to
           all parliamentarians in Wales to tell them about our new leaflet, ‘Who
           regulates health and social care professionals?’ We enclosed a copy of the
           bi-lingual version of the leaflet (‘Pwy sy’n rheoleiddio gweithwyr proffesiynol
           gofal iechyd a chymdeithasol?’) with this mailing.
Publications and mailings
     b.    Annual report 2006 is available in Welsh on our website as PDF (not printed –
           sought advice from Welsh Language Board on that). Our 2007 report is
           currently in production. Once the text has been finalised in English, we will
           translate it into Welsh and produce a bi-lingual version to be available
           electronically on our website.
     c.     ‘How to report a dental professional to us’ leaflet is available in Welsh (bi-
           lingual version) as both a PDF and in hard copy. First edition published in
           August 2007. An updated edition (reflecting the close of the transition to
           dental nurse/technician registration) is now with the printers.
     d.    We sent copies of the bilingual ‘How to report a dental professional to us’ to
           the Welsh MPs and Members of the Welsh Assembly in March 2008, as
           Rachel stated below. We also did a proactive mailing to Citizens Advice
           Bureaus (CABs) in England and Wales in early 2008 – the Welsh CABs have
           been sent the bilingual version of the leaflet.
     e.    ‘Going abroad for your dental care?’ leaflet (August 2008) – available in
           Welsh on our website.
Media
     f.    Press release re Council meeting in Cardiff issued in Welsh to media in Wales
           in Sept 2007
     g.    Press release re ‘Going abroad for your dental care?’ leaflet issued in Welsh
           to media in Wales in August 2008.
Website
     h.    We created the Welsh page for the general public in June 2007 and it was
           updated in August 2008 to reflect the end of transition to compulsory
           registration.




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       i.    We have statistics for page views since Sept 2007 and they are as follows.

      2008
      July 429 times
      June 353 times
      May 296 times
      April 421 times
      March 271 times
      February 391 times
      Jan 412 times

      2007
      Dec 287 times
      November 353 times
      October 355 times
      September 179 times

Complaints

8.     Accordingly the Council has in place a robust mechanism for dealing with
       complaints. The mechanism has a number of different aspects which cover:

       a.    Complaints about Registrants
       b.    Complaints from external customers about the GDC
       c.    Complaints from internal customers about the GDC

9.     The systems used ensure that compliments and complaints are recorded using the
       appropriate software record and respond to complaints appropriately, and ensure
       the lessons from them are being learnt by staff and the organisation.
10.    We received no complaints about our Welsh language capabilities, approach or in
       Welsh since our last report.

Monitoring

11.    Appropriate arrangements and processes are being reviewed as part of the
       discussions over where the overall responsibility for the Scheme sits within the
       organisation as currently the processes need strengthening to ensure that the
       Scheme is fully embedded and whether it is being and has been implemented
       consistently and to a satisfactory standard across the organisation. This process will
       ensure that the requirements of the Scheme are being fully met.
12.    The GDC is currently implementing a customer services quality assurance
       programme and as part of this we shall be introducing ‘mystery shoppers’ who will
       independently test that the Scheme is being successfully implemented. We have
       not yet tested this aspect of our service.




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13.   The table below gives an indication of the services demanded of us in Welsh:


       Service                       Contacts in Welsh        Welsh language literature
                                                              available?
       Dental Complaints Service     None                     Yes – bi-lingual brochure
       Customer Enquiry Service      None                     Yes – translation services
                                                              available
       Council meeting in Wales      Yes questions from       Simultaneous translation
                                     the public               into English available
       General correspondence        None                     N/A – translation services
       received                                               available.
       Council Meeting in Wales      Yes                      Bi-lingual press releases


Service from others

14.   Currently the GDC does not contract out any services to any third party that
      provides services to the public on its behalf or under its regulation.

Corporate Reporting

15.   The Executive Management Team (which comprises the Chief Executive and
      Directors) reviews the performance of the Scheme as part of its consideration of our
      equality and diversity policies and procedures. The Council receives an Annual
      Report on the Scheme’s implementation.

Timetable

16.   The General Dental Council has made a real effort to meet the targets for
      implementation in the Scheme and these have either been met or reviewed to
      ensure that the Scheme is being and will be implemented appropriately across the
      organisation.




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