Welcome back to the start of what promises to be an interesting year
There appears to be a consistent theme however running through the early events, which seem to me to be somehow all related. Perhaps not in a complimentary way.
Firstly we have the Daily Telegraph Letter, discussed widely on here, as well as a supporting article in the newspaper itself.
This is of course the third year that such a letter has been published by, this time, some 400 signatories including this writer. Critically, a small nugget of self-opinionated idealism say some. By contrast its supporters suggest it is merely a further reasoned cry for a sensible strategy to use the limited Government money for the groups in need. For example, those such as children who finish up in theatre under a GA, or other high needs groups, often postcode affected.
Just where is the Clarity of the Deal for the rest of us for example?
However, is there a Conspiracy of Silence? Perhaps a mood of disdain? For as we speak some 3 weeks later, the BDA have not mentioned its publication. At all. Anywhere. You may search their News Releases at https://www.bda.org/news-centre/.
Would you care to wonder WHY the BDA feel so reluctant to even acknowledge the letter let along jump on the brief media bandwagon? Complacency or Conspiracy? You choose.
The PSA-GDC relationship
It is certainly a case of no love lost. Before Christmas, you will recall, the GDC were aligned in the crosshairs of the PSA and their hyper critical report.
Comment made again on GDP UK and elsewhere has been withering. It is clear that there is a mood that the Chair of the GDC must go, not just because of these events, but also BEFORE any process to identify a new Chief Executive takes place.
It is therefore very interesting that the GDC have seen it unnecessary to mention in their public media releases anything about this report, let alone any sort of “It’s all good here” spun response.
Complacency or Conspiracy? You choose.
Peter Ward, CEO at the BDA has placed a damning Leader “Whistling in the Dark” in a recent BDJ about the GDC at http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v220/n1/full/sj.bdj.2016.1.html
I have stated it before. Others have stated it. And so we all say, again:
The Chairman must go, and the Council, in particular the Dental Registrant Members of the GDC, should seriously consider their position.
Shortly before Christmas , before the letter in the D Tel, the BDA seniors figures and the LDCs met with the new CDO of NHS England, Dr Sarah Hurley and you may read the reports here courtesy of Yorkshire’s East Riding LDC
Is it me? It is similarly interesting to think that since then the BDA have kept a very tightly sealed pair of public lips on matters pertaining to the disgraced UDA system of Contracting and its Prototype successor
Not a mention, not a dicky bird.
Complacency or Conspiracy? You choose.
There is it might be argued a fine line between complacency and conspiracy as to why each of these bodies [The BDA and the GDC] have chosen to ignore these two unrelated and yet significant events.
In the case of the GDC, I think we can speculate that the present Council are in their final days, especially after the unprecedented mauling by the House of Lords in the debate this week. I will put that down to complacency therefore. Please view the debate here http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/2a3f3b86-7d34-448d-ab91-52e134879e49
The GDPC - CDO[NHSE] Relationship
Which leaves me to ponder the conspiratorial nature of the relationship between the GDPC of the BDA [representing all you dentists at the negotiating table for the New 2020 Contracts] and NHS England’s Chief Dental Officer.
It seems like the old days, for those of you old enough to recall that great old wise owl, Labour leader and Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Beer and sandwiches at No 10. In this case, filter coffee and homemade biscuits with a fine group of colleagues.
Transparency is dead.
Complacency is the food of conspiracy
The outcome is the same. It appears any chance of truly driving change with the wider interests of the public and profession at heart, in a transparent manner, at the highest level of our Profession, is to be denied.
Instead agreements will be cobbled together in secrecy and behind closed doors by the privileged few. You will told when you need to know
As was stated recently: we are a Profession that suffers Group Mural Dyslexia ! Failure to see the writing on the wall.
A little more energy is required if we are to see the Profession make progress against the political headwinds this year.
Perhaps a little less complacency and a little more Conspiring to rebel? We can but hope!
Not accurate BDA issued the following press summary on 5th January
Dentist who billed clients and NHS for same work pleads guilty to fraud
An article in the Daily Mail highlights the case of Surrey dentist Mark Walewski who pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in court yesterday after carrying out a scheme known as double claiming whereby he charged private patients for treatment and then billed the NHS for the same work. The dentist, who has been suspended by the GDC, was released on conditional bail and will be sentenced next month.
Daily Mail - Conman dentist who splashed out on sports car while billing private clients and the NHS for the SAME work in £223,000 'systematic fraud' faces prison
Junior doctors strike to go ahead as talks break down
Junior doctors in England will strike next Tuesday after talks with the Government failed to reach an agreement, the British Medical Association has said. The 24-hour strike on 12 January will be followed up by 48-hour industrial action starting on 26 January as well as another day on 10 February, the British Medical Association has announced. All three of the strikes will start at 8am. During the first two junior scheduled actions doctors will provide only emergency care. The final scheduled strike will involve a full withdrawal of labour, the BMA says. Jeremy Hunt has maintained the action was "unnecessary" as the talks had been making progress. "It is extremely disappointing that the BMA have chosen to take industrial action which helps no-one," he added. The story is widely covered today.
BBC - Junior doctor strikes 'very damaging' for patients
Telegraph - Junior doctors' strike: Talks with BMA lasted less than an hour, says Jeremy Hunt
Independent - Jeremy Hunt denies being guilty of 'spin' over junior doctors strike
Guardian - Junior doctors in England to strike next week after talks break down
Dental care in England ‘third world’ – further coverage
There was further coverage yesterday of the letter in the Telegraph signed by 400 dentists likening NHS dentistry to a ‘third world’ service and claiming that the involvement of a dental charity in providing care in West Yorkshire is a sign of the situation getting worse. Coverage includes a response from NHS England highlighting dental treatment and access figures.
BBC - Dental care in England 'Third World
Independent - NHS dentistry is 'Third World' and 'unfit for purpose', hundreds of dentists say
Daily Mail - UK's dental care 'at Third World levels': Lack of NHS treatment across England has led to 'crisis' in care, say hundreds of dentists
Obituary – Audrey Sheiham
Today’s Guardian carries an obituary for Aubrey Sheiham, an epidemiologist with a global reputation in oral health research. The piece focuses on three key areas of his work – examining the evidence for routine six-monthly check-ups, taking a whole population approach to oral health rather than focusing on high-risk groups, and looking at the social determinants of oral health.
As a BDA member I looked upon the BDA website bda.org, home page, news and press releases tabs every single day for a week.
There was NO, repeat NO mention of the DT letter or the massive media onward reporting of Dentistry issues for members to easily see or access. I have the timed/dated screenshots if you'd like to see and yes it was no better when logged in as a member either !!!
Now if something is buried so deep in the website OR where members would not normally/easily find it, then that IS a communication issue at the very least and so maybe as members 'communication' has been raised as an ongoing issue for the BDA, not addressing this for such a LARGE and PROMINENT story in the national press (even now almost 3 weeks later!) could be reasonably questioned as COMPLACENCY.
So I'm afraid it is not accurate to say this blog was not accurate - a press release to the press about stories THE PRESS have already run/running, whilst making even that invisible on the bda.org website to members and non-members alike, is worth looking at again, I hope you'd agree.
Even now on bda.org, it is not listed under News or 'press releases' at all and the only entry for 5th January is the junior doctors strike, the entry before that is dated 21st Dec (GDC matters) and after that entries are 7th jan/14th Jan (Sugar and smoking) etc.
In short, it is STILL COMPLETELY INVISIBLE to bda members or bda website visitors online at bda.org despite having other entries there pre and post 4th Jan.2016 !!!
Perhaps BDA staff would like to explain this, given the letter's high media impact and it's 3rd week anniversary on Monday already, but on bda.org it's as if it never happened ???