Tom Whiting has joined the General Dental Council (GDC) as its chief executive officer and registrar.

In his first month, Tom will meet chief dental officers from the four nations and stakeholders from across the dental sector at the Dental Leadership Network on June 12, 2024. He will also start a series of visits to meet dental teams in different settings across the UK to find out more about where and how they work and provide more opportunities for dental professionals to engage with the GDC.

Tom Whiting, GDC chief executive and registrar, said, “I understand the pressures that the dental sector is under and the hard work that the whole dental team does to ensure that patients have the care they need.

“Trust between professionals and the regulator is important for patients and public confidence. I will listen to the views and challenges of dental professionals and stakeholders as well as get to know where and how they work.

“Building my own understanding will help me to identify shared goals and how we can work together to make a positive difference to dental professionals and patients. This will take time, but I’m committed to making a start right away.”

Tom joins from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) where he was acting director general for 17 months, having been deputy director general since 2019.

Work on the GDC’s priorities continues while Tom is settling into his new role. These include the annual renewal of registration for around 70,000 dental care professionals, launching the updated scope of practice, and developing a new framework for registration of overseas dentists and dental care professionals.

Toby Harris, GDC chair, said, “I am delighted that Tom brings a commitment to building effective relationships externally, as I did when I joined the GDC, and I know that listening and engaging is the best way to do this.

“The council will support Tom and the executive leadership team to continue to deliver the GDC’s existing priorities and navigate any changes that come our way after the general election.

“I also thank Gurvinder Soomal for stepping into the interim chief executive role and maintaining both continuity and much progress. Gurvinder returns to his role as chief operating officer with responsibility for corporate functions, which means that the GDC continues to benefit from his valuable experience and knowledge.”