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Wimpole St PECking Order

Wimpole St PECking Order

PECking at the BDA


The BDA claims to be your representative body and the Principal Executive Committee is its leadership board. It is elected by you, if you are a member.

Are you one of the 18000 odd BDA members who have heard the distant thud of voting papers landing on your mat?  Have you read the Candidates Statements? You may read them here https://www.bda.org/pecelections

If you have waded through them, you may be forgiven for wondering if the candidates have been reading the dental news!

If you are not a member of the BDA then you may read the list at https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Pages/The-candidates-bidding-to-lead-the-profession.aspx

While I admire the concept of leading the profession, and for sure Mick Lad is slapping few heads, I do worry that this reflects an assumed position of strength that is perhaps not wholly justified.


For starters, who will lead the 22000 other odd dentists [a greater number, no less] and who will lead the DCP’s – some 60000?  So representing 18000 to “lead” a profession of 100,000 is in my book, bordering on spin of political magnitude. Never mind, move on.


Are the candidates REALLY in touch at your level, at my level?  Do they really understand the wet fingered challenges we face?

The news I referred to of course is regarding our old muckers, Cruella and Billy Boy. If their divorce is well signalled in advance, the ARF announcement must be their parting gift to all their friends.  How sweet.




I cannot refer to our annual Practice Tax without using an expletive as the first word. Many years ago, in student days, such a word would suggest advanced post alcoholic nausea.  Sadly, I can see a startling similarity nowadays!

In case you missed it. it was serenely announced that the relentless march of arrogant loftiness continued as the GDC, without hint or irony or guilt, agreed to maintain its role as the most expensive [and arguably useless] Regulator in the UK. Proud and passionate, Premier League stuff – indeed with the ARF at this level they should be able to afford a truly gifted player soon, so swollen will be their Reserves.

“Dr William” has become curmudgeonly friendly “Bill” again as he seeks to avoid the need to spend more time with his family.

There is talk about the insanity of it all [see Michael Watson’s excellent analysis at Dentistry http://www.dentistry.co.uk/2015/11/24/the-insanity-of-the-gdc/ ]

The BDA have issued a strongly worded response at https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Pages/ARF-freeze-a-choice-not-a-necessity.aspx speaking of the GDC making a choice to simply rob dentists of excessive ARF fees.

The FGDP have also come down in utter contempt for the GDC Leadership at http://www.fgdp.org.uk/content/news/fgdpuk-reaction-to-general-dental-councils-decisio.ashx

Saying  “it may be patients who suffer as a result of the GDC’s actions”


PECking Elections

So it is an opportune time [voting closes 14th December 2015] to see if the mood of the BDA Leadership will truly reflect the outside mood of anger.

I am struck that of the 22 candidates, many have issued look-back statements of their achievements, and simply assumed that will be good enough.

Indeed, what a fine profession we have and the contribution that these colleagues have made over the years to the profession of dentistry and the wider community simply cannot be overstated.  Please take note Mr Hunt.

They are truly amazing and we should salute them.


But I was also struck by the fact that of the 22 National Candidates to lead the profession, only 8 made any real mention of the GDC.


We can but hope that Dr Armstrong welcomes some proactive colleagues to the Principal Executive Committee if his lead of the fight against the GDC is to carry any momentum in 2016


Your vote counts


At the moment, in the proper voting sense, the Jury is very definitely out.

If the BDA and its PEC are to be an effective representative body, I think the second year of a near £900 ARF suggests that they need to play harder, and kick more accurately. They are 2-0 down and this election suggests that members had better vote carefully if the match is not to be a whitewash.


A wise BDA with its eye on the ball would aim its actions at the other 80000 non members as well, that being the biggest investment in future membership and the wellbeing of the profession that can be achieved.


Here is hoping for better results in 2016.

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