No Time To Talk - The GDC and GDPs

Lord Toby Harris

For far too long, relations between dentists and their regulator have been fraught, to say the least.

This may be a situation that in practice suits the GDC very well, but appearances matter. In November last year, the General Dental Council [GDC] revealed the results of some research that it had commissioned. The aim was to ascertain dental professionals’ views on the GDC. It would be very reassuring for GDC leaders to be able to demonstrate that criticism of the regulator comes from a small and unrepresentative section of the profession. The results did not fit that narrative, indeed the GDC, experiencing a moment of insight, commented that the findings “don’t make comfortable reading.”

As reported on GDPUK at the time, negative perceptions of the GDC had actually risen from a bad 45% in 2018, to a worse 58% in 2020. To add to an already grim picture, responses also showed that over time, an increasing number of respondents felt that the GDC was actually getting worse. The finding that “students were more likely than dental professionals to associate positive words with the GDC”, could be said to offer evidence that the more dental teams came into contact with the GDC, the less they liked it.

By the GDC’s standards a veritable charm offensive followed, with Chief Executive Ian Brack and Executive Director Stefan Czerniawski explaining how they would be working to improve matters. It was announced that the recently installed Chair, Lord Harris, was starting his term by meeting key stakeholders. With the vast majority of UK dental care delivered in general practice by general practitioners and their teams, an outsider might expect that this would be reflected in some of this activity.

Since taking over from Bill Moyes, Lord Harris has written four blogs for the GDC which have been sent with its periodic emails and are also available on its website. In his first blog there was indeed reference to meeting some of those key stakeholders. He had met the English CDO, as well as the BDA, BADN and SBDN and been at the launch of the College of General Dentistry. He went on to express the view that “professional regulation is a privilege”.

By the time of his next blog Lord Harris had met the CQC and HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) and was looking forward to meeting COPDEND and the Dental Schools Council to discuss education. He added that his belief that we should see (presumably the GDC’s) regulation as a benefit, had been reinforced.

The third blog announced a programme between January and April of meeting students and trainees which would be an “opportunity to hear from students in the early stages of their dentistry careers.” There was also a section about the benefits of regulating the whole dental team. He added that he would “continue to meet representatives of the dental professions in the next few months”

The beginning of February saw publication of the fourth blog. Lord Harris had now met with Healthwatch, and rightly pointed out that “understanding the views of patients and the public is critically important”. “However” he added, “the GDC also wants to engage with people at the start of their career in dentistry”.  They had met nearly 400 students and trainees, representing dentists, hygienists, and therapists, and were “finding them helpful to build understanding of our role and hear from members of the future dental team”.

GDP’s are trained to be observant, so readers will have spotted by now that in relation to the amount of care delivered, they barely register on Lord Harris’s radar. There was also a focus on those younger team members who the GDC’s own survey had revealed, were the group with a less poor opinion of the GDC.

Following publication of Lord Harris’s fourth blog, GDPUK contacted the GDC’s communications team with an enquiry about the Chair's meetings with GDPs and related groups. To provide some context, emails to the Department of Health and NHS England on the day of the 50 million dental funding were all answered within a couple of hours. If a respondent was unable to help they suggested a suitable colleague. It did not take long to get an answer that specifically dealt with each section of our request. GDPUK also asked the BDA about meetings with Lord Harris. A comprehensive reply came within 90 minutes.

With absolutely no response from the GDC, a follow up email was sent the next day. With the same result. After 3 emails sent on separate working days, and not even an acknowledgement, a colleague who has had similar difficulties provided an alternative contact to the one on the GDC’s website. Finally, a response confirming that our emails had been received came within a couple of hours, and not long after this, another GDC official provided their response to our enquiry. The Chair would appear to have had a busy diary which will continue over the coming weeks with many meetings. The most GDP related one to add to those in his blogs would appear to be the Association of Dental Groups (ADG). Scheduled were meetings with professional bodies including hygienists, therapists, dental technicians and dentists as well as indemnifiers.

To be fair to the GDC, when a subsequent enquiry was sent, it was responded to the following day.

GDP’s may be left wondering whether following last years uncomfortable feedback, the GDC’s chosen approach to them is one of engagement, or quarantine.

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The problems with the Silo existence

The problems with the Silo existence

Dentistry is tough, I have written that phrase as an opening to several pieces in the past. Things haven’t got any easier, in fact quite the opposite. There is a crisis of confidence in many young, and not so young, dentists.

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Spring statement analysis

Spring statement analysis


Michael Lansdell is a founding partner of specialist dental and medical accountants Lansdell & Rose and a chartered accountant. Here, he gives an overview of Philip Hammond’s first Spring Statement, and the key points for dental practice owners…

We had two Budgets and three Financial Bills in 2017, which for many, was more than enough! The Spring Statement lasted a grand total of 25 minutes, and was essentially a review of the public finances. It was also an opportunity to publish consultations before any announcements in the Autumn Budget.

So, nothing headline grabbing, but here’s a glance over the Spring Statement and how it may relate to your business.


From April, the VAT threshold will remain at £85,000 for the next two years, as per a previous announcement. Mr Hammond said he would consult on whether growth could be incentivised by looking again at how VAT is structured.

Digital payments

Payments/settlements systems (including the Bank of England’s) are to be renewed in order to harness the power of the latest technologies. The government pledged its support to these changes, and it will be consulting on them.

On a related note, views will also be sought on how online platforms could help users comply with their tax obligations.

Entrepreneur’s relief

If an individual now owns less than 5 per cent interest in a company, because the company has issued trade to raise capital, they should be able to claim Entrepreneur’s relief, says the government.

Business rates

Views had previously been sought on this topic. It was announced that the first of more frequent, three-yearly revaluations for business properties would be in 2021.

Self-funded work-related training

Have you – or a colleague – undertaken this? Well, the government is going to look at how tax relief can be extended and how the system can be both simplified and protected from misuse.

Coming up in April…

No new tax measures were introduced, but some previously announced changes are coming into force in April. The personal allowance is rising to £11,850 (for basic rate, to £34,000 and higher rate, £46,350). This excludes Scotland, who will have five new tax bands for 2018/19. If you are on a higher rate in Scotland, this isn’t great news as the threshold is going to start at £2,920 below the rest of the UK. As previously announced, the dividend tax allowance will be reduced to £2,000.

The national insurance contributions (NICs) threshold is also increasing by 3 per cent and Class 2 NICs will now be phased out for 2019/20.

If you have a company car, tax will rise for all by the highest emission vehicles.

The residence nil rate band for Inheritance tax (IHT) will rise; the main rate band will remain unchanged. There could be changes afoot by the Autumn Budget, however, a review of IHT conducted by the Office of Tax Simplification is due to report around then.  

As for pensions, the minimum contributions for workplace pensions under automatic enrolment will increase. The lifetime allowance will rise in line with inflation (it’s been on a downward path since 2012).

Finally, both income tax and NICs will apply on all payments in lieu of notice (PILONs) in 2018/9.

If you want specific data, or clarification, contact Lansdell & Rose. We can help your practice to stay ticking away efficiently and profitably during the next financial year and beyond.

Other dental accountants also available. Nasdal.


Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333,

Or visit www.lansdellrose.co.uk

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3275 Hits

More Danger than Prosecco? by @DentistGoneBadd


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8406 Hits

Keep ‘Up To Date’ with Oral-B Seminars

Keep ‘Up To Date’ with Oral-B Seminars



Oral-B has released the dates for their next series of Up To Date seminars.  Each of these popular evening sessions will be comprised of two 45-minute lectures.

Prof Nicola West will be exploring clinical strategies to prevent and manage dental erosion. She will unveil the aetiology, susceptibility and impact of erosive toothwear as well as giving advice on preventative management and when to refer. (pictured below)


Dr Phil Ower will be reviewing the aetiology and classification of gingival recession, showing how to manage recession defects for different groups of patients and giving guidance on when it is appropriate to refer patients and what specialist care may be appropriate. (picture below)

Clinical dental professionals are invited to attend this complimentary CPD accredited evening event at one of seven locations:


London -3rd November 2016 – Hilton Hotel (Watford)


Edinburgh - 14th November 2016 – Houston Hotel


Bristol – 21st November 2016 – Aztec Hotel


Birmingham - 20th February 2017 – St Johns Hotel (Solihull)


Leeds - 9th March 2017 – Village Hotel (North)


Manchester – 27th April 2017 – Copthorne Hotel


Newcastle - 4th May 2017 – Hilton Hotel (Gateshead)


As well as two and a half hours of verifiable CPD every delegate is invited to enjoy a complimentary meal at the beginning of the evening.  Registration and buffet is from 5.45pm with the first lecture starting at 6.30pm.  The evening will finish at 9.00pm.


Spaces at these events are limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.  If you would like to attend register online at www.dentalcare.co.uk/uptodateseminars.

For enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0870 2421850.


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10756 Hits

GSK Online Education Modules help DHCPs gain over 3000 hours of free verifiable CPD

GSK Online Education Modules help DHCPs gain over 3000 hours of free verifiable CPD



In April 2016 GSK, the manufacturer of Corsodyl®, Poligrip®, Sensodyne® and Pronamel®, launched four free certified CPD modules. Each provides 1.5 hours of verifiable CPD and so far over 2000 modules have been completed, meaning GSK has provided over 3000 hours of free, verifiable CPD to DHCPs across the country.

The modules focus on a range of topics including gum disease and the Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE), the effects of tooth loss and dentures for patients, the mode of action of NovaMin® in Sensodyne® Repair & Protect and the Basic Erosive Wear Examination. All modules can be completed remotely at a pace that suits the user. There is a selection of multiple-choice questions at the end of each module and, upon answering the questions correctly, the user is issued a certificate for completing the CPD module. 

GSK sees delivering quality education and CPD as a core part of its mission and strives to continuously meet the needs of DHCPs through online learning as well as face to face lectures.

Access to all modules, as well as information on GSK products, is available at www.gsk-dentalprofessionals.co.uk




Product Information

Corsodyl Mint Mouthwash


Active Ingredient: Chlorhexidine digluconate. Indications: Plaque inhibition; gingivitis; maintenance

of oral hygiene; post periodontal surgery or treatment; aphthous ulceration; oral candida. Legal Category: GSL. Licence Holder: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (UK) Trading Limited, Brentford, TW8 9GS, U.K.


Information about this product, including adverse reactions, precautions, contra-indications and method of use can be found at:




Trade marks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.


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5966 Hits

Marketing your credit options correctly - Martin Gilbert Director of Chrysalis Finance

Marketing your credit options correctly - Martin Gilbert Director of Chrysalis Finance

Credit options are becoming increasingly important in UK dental practices. The increasing demand for elective dental treatments, combined with the ubiquitous search for cost-effectiveness, has made the provision of finance very attractive, and it can be an important USP for many practices.

However, even if a practice is offering credit options, it may be the case that they are not seeing the best return on this facility as possible.

This is simply due to the fact that many dental professionals lack the necessary marketing skills to properly promote the services they offer patients – and this could really be to their detriment. Indeed, opportunities missed through poor marketing can actually be the difference between a practice achieving and one that is excelling.

Your practice’s website is, perhaps, the most obvious place for you to start promoting your credit facilities. By making sure the information is easily accessible and easy to understand, any visitors to your website will immediately be informed of the options they have with you.

Similarly, maintaining a regular and consistent social media presence, in which patients are kept informed and included, can be a very efficient way of getting across a desired message. Posting information about credit options on your practice’s social media page is a sure-fire way of increasing your patients’ knowledge on how they can benefit from what you have to offer.

You could also include a message in your phone system’s ‘on hold’ message. Ideally, you don’t want your patients to be on hold for very long – but on the occasions where they do have to hold the line, it is good opportunity to promote your credit options (which will be far more useful to you, and less frustrating for your patients, than playing a tune like Greensleeves while they wait!).

Quite obviously, appreciating that these methods should and could be implemented and actually implementing them are two very different kettles of fish. Effective marketing takes time and considerable effort – two commodities that are too often in short supply for busy dental professionals. Therefore, it may be advantageous to recruit the services of an expert marketing team to help you come up with a consistent and appropriate strategy for your practice. Of course, it may present an upfront cost, but it is an investment that will almost certainly pay dividends in the future.

Of course, there is a very simple and effective solution: Chrysalis Finance, the UK’s only provider of simple, licence free credit options, also has the marketing savvy needed to help you and your practice get the very most out of their exceptional finance facility. Its services range from printable material, to assistance with your website, helping you ensure that your patients are up to date on the great finance options you can offer them.


For more information about Chrysalis Finance call us on 0333 32 32 230 or visit www.chrysalisfinance.com



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4184 Hits

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