Are whistle blowers good or bad?

Client emails me overnight as follows:

“Anonymous letter to the GDC, about our recent ad in XYZ Magazine, where the phrase –

“ABC Dental carries out specialist treatments such as Implants (Dr A) and Orthodontics (Dr B)”

Has been construed as misleading in that we have effectively said that Dr A is a specialist in Implant Dentistry for which there is no specialisation currently within the GDS and that we are implying she is “better” than a normal Implant Dentist (!!) and my fitness to practice has been called to question at a hearing of the GDC in January.


Speak soon…………….from my prison cell“

Now the fact is – that the advert is incorrect and does contravene guidelines – guilty as charged.


Is it really necessary for some low-life dentist to go to the trouble of writing ”anonymously“ to the GDC?

(by the way – it has to be a dentist – yes? Surely no member of the public could be bothered or would know/care?).

What’s wrong with picking up the phone to a fellow professional and asking ”could you change that please mate?“

I feel bad because I know this stuff and the client didn’t think to run it past me first – I would have nipped it in the bud.

Maybe I need to communicate better the fact that I do proof loads of stuff for clients.

I’m sure the client has suffered a ruined day/month/quarter, fretting about what will happen at the GDC.

Equally sure that the tax-payer will ultimately bear the cost of a shed-load of bureaucracy to settle matters.

As it happens, my client is one of the nicest and most ethical guys imaginable, running a lovely business with happy patients and team – and working flat out for local charities when he’s not at work – just a super-nice bloke.

Who now has a stressful hearing ahead.

All because some dentist thinks its fair game to blow a whistle.

A bloody gutless back-stabbing wimp with low self-esteem.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.