Enamel Prism

5 minutes reading time (915 words)

The Fall?

The Fall?

The early autumn is a period of wind  and rain, perhaps storms and even the back end of the Atlantic hurricanes.  All in all it is often a period of wild weather.

I wonder if dentistry is entering its own Autumn of storms and wild and windy conditions.

Can we hope even for a “fall” of sorts, in Wimpole Street; you know, a “Fall from Grace?” Perhaps near that newly refurbished office block at No 37?

I dream.  It’s too much to hope.

Let’s look at the facts.


West Side Story

The BDA [at No 64, being on the West side of the street] are suddenly in a ballot kind of frame of mind, openly calling for such a move. [1] OK it is only the hospital based colleagues but they have tagged along with the BMA on the proposed changing of the working week to include the weekend.

Now if the Government, broadly, get away with this, anyone fancy betting it will trickle into GDP in the new contract?

Meanwhile the GDC have attracted Dr Mick’s ire – again - as they feel the need to start examining how to measure the quality of YOUR dental care.  The GDC ? Yes, you heard right. [2]


GDC Metrication is on the way to YOUR practice

In the GDC’s Big Plan for the Next 3 Years  they suggest: [3]

  • Patients:
    • Objective 3:
      • To increase the information we provide to help patients make better informed judgments about their treatment
    • Over the next three years we will do the following to meet this objective:
      • improve our online register and website so that patients can find out more information about their dental professional, including how to locate a specialist.
      • explore the development of quality metrics in dentistry so that patients are clear about the quality of the care that they can expect to receive.
      • produce a range of guidance for patients and their carers about what they can expect from a visit to a dental professional and what questions they could ask. We will tailor this guidance to the type of treatment and the setting where care is provided.


Now if you thought the CQC slid under the radar of professional alertness, or that the GDC being reorganised to emaciate the dental involvement by having a Lay majority and non dental ‘appointed ‘ Chairman was one you really should have seen coming, I urge the assembled throng to finally take this one seriously


The GDC are expanding into the quality of YOUR care

It’s not the only area the GDC plan to expand.  They even plan to expand the role of the Dental Complaints Service.  [3]

They are on record as wanting to advertise again because the numbers of complaints are dropping!!

Yes, you heard right.  Oh, and they see the NHS as a major partner, not as the creator of the UDA nightmare that drives people to the GDC in the first place! [3]


The awakening of the sleeping… Giant?

However, there is a faint sense that the BDA might, possibly, finally, be awakening to the possibility of a long and hard fight against Government sponsored attacks on the profession. We are of course in good company with our medical colleagues.

If Press Releases are the tip of the “what’s going on behind the scenes” iceberg, perhaps all is better that we had thought?


If you are a BDA Member – phone them and find out what their plans are.

If you are an FGDP member, phone them too!


You, on your own, can do little. Only as a united front can we even remotely stand our ground.

Or are we going to sleepwalk into yet another costly restriction upon our activity ?



Search And Rescue? [SAR]

As if all that is not enough, in a separate move reminiscent of Cold War Eastern Europe, the GDC are under fire for retaining data on all public discussion about its efficiencies, filing such data against the name of the registrant. [4] 

There has been an eye opening thread on GDPUK [no doubt all carefully annotated and filed by the GDCs very own MI5 trained clerks].

If you have not made your Subject Access Request to the GDC you are most definitely urged so to do. 

Do you know what data they hold about YOU?  
Do you know the justification? 
Give it some thought.



How Snoopy laughed!  ARF ARF!

It's that time of the year again. The GDC are now consulting on next year’s ARF.  After 37 pages of "transparency", it was hard to remember that they were proposing ‘no change’. Still, I always like to see out money being used wisely.[5] [6] [7]


The new NHS Contract is dragging on [as predicted] and there is a sense that the current financial crisis surrounding NHS Trusts generally must at some point trickle down into the provision of dental care. Cuts have to be in the shadows, even if they are not overt.



So all in all, a delightful Indian Summer of calm?  I rather think not!


No Sir.  The storms are brewing and I suggest that you had better batten down the hatches.


Far from clipping its wings, the GDC is very much in an expansionist frame of mind and YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT.


And when the Government pay you LESS through the new contract to do MORE, we will all pay, sadly, in so many ways.

And who will be the ultimate loser? The poor patient. Your patient. My patient. And perhaps all those who are not patients.


Perhaps now is the time for the profession to start uniting in some way? 


I mean, properly uniting

What shall we call this association of like-minded professionals?



[1] https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Pages/Junior-dentists-balloted-on-industrial-action.aspx

[2] https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Pages/GDC-attempting-to-extend-remit-at-expense-of-registrants.aspx

[3] http://gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Consultations/Documents/Draft%20Corporate%20Strategy%202016-2019.pdf


[4] https://www.gdpuk.com/forum/gdpuk-forum/what-does-the-gdc-know-about-you-time-to-find-out-20365#p223009


[5] http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Consultations/Documents/ARF%20level%20consultation%202016.pdf

[6] http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Consultations/Documents/ARF%20level%20consultation%202016%20-%20supplementary%20forecasting%20information.pdf

[7] http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Consultations/Documents/2016%20ARF%20consultation%20FAQS.pdf



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