I was appointed to the First-tier Tribunal in 2011. I applied for a tribunal role as the result of an advert in the British Dental Journal. I had previously worked for the General Dental Council as a panel chair for a number of years and thought that this would entail a similar skill set. For this tribunal role, I would be required to consider appeals by professionals who thought they had been dealt with unfairly by one of their regulators.
The JAC selection process was thorough and I had to consider what skills were needed and how I could demonstrate this in an application form and subsequently at interview.
I have worked in a NHS general dental practice as a practice owner in Devon for most of my career. I was also involved in Dental Foundation Training for 20 years as a trainer and Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean in the Southwest Deanery. I was a chair of the General Dental Council (GDC) Fitness to Practise Panel for 10 years and since 2013 have been a chair at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
I have now retired from clinical practice but am still on the GDC register and am a non-executive director of Dentists’ Provident Limited.
I have sat on very different tribunals since my appointment. I have found the volume of evidence a challenge at times but am happy that the bundles are now in electronic form, and I don’t have to carry them on the train! I have worked in different cities and venues, with a range of colleagues. I have enjoyed meeting other colleagues and sharing experience of tribunals and the challenges has been beneficial.
I enjoy the process of hearing the evidence and applying the rules and arriving at a fair and appropriate outcome. This is an important role and ensures that the public are protected and the appellants are supported in a fair and equitable way.