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DEC
22

'Tis the season ...

'Tis the season ...

...to be Jolly, fah-la-la-la-la,la-lah-lah-lahhh

 

It is the season of Goodwill to all Men [and Women of course]. Too much food, a touch too much liquid spirit, and comfy armchair beckon for many, while Granny sups the sherry.

It is a time of year to reconnect with family, and let loose the strings of attachment with dentistry.

It has been quite a year.  If anyone has recently been affected by the extreme weather and flooding, you will have our deepest sympathy and best wishes.

 

TWTYTW

 

We have a new CDO[NHS England]  who seems to have big dreams. While her grip on reality is yet to be proven, her grip on mission creep is patently in doubt too as the New NHS Contract slides back another year.  When does evidence seeking become procrastination I wonder? 

 

Let’s not forget to toast the former CDO [NHS England] spinning the revolving door of Corporate employment. A nice little earner, some might cynically say; I could not possibly comment.  For sure, the numbers-merchants all seem in agreement.  Corporate Dentistry is a House of Cards just waiting for the crutches to be kicked away.

 

What about our soon-to-be ex-Chief Executive Officer of that great body in Wimpole Street.  I wonder how many cards of goodwill she really will receive? Goodwill to Dental Colleagues has been the byword on her watch… NOT!

 

And then of course our congratulations to the newly elected members of the BDAs Principal Executive Committee.  Is it me or is a vote of 1900 on a membership of 18000 a 10% turnout?  Is a 10% turnout the sign of a well engaged campaign and a profession with fire in their belly?  Hmmm, thought as much. 

 

So there is much to be done and as ever so little time to do it. 

 

Crystal balls, anyone?

 

Maybe 2016 will be the year that as a profession of 100,000 like-minded souls we unite into one influential body, instead of Nurses here, Therapists there, Dental Technicians under the table, Dentists arguing and never agreeing, LDCs bangin’ on to no avail, the BDA in constant denial and the FGDP worrying about ‘stuff’.  No wonder the Government can run rings around us all.

 

To you all, I bid you a Happy Christmas and an Utterly-Butterly Joyful New Year.

 

In the South, we Sassenachs favour the early celebration. North of the border of course, our Scots colleagues will be awaiting the excesses of Hogmanay.  To our non-Christian colleagues, we know you will join us in celebration in whatever way suits.

 

But wait:

 

What is this with Santa’s paw prints all over it? A PSA Report I see? Now this is a Festive card of gargantuan size.

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the Dental Profession, now you know why the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the GDC has pulled the Ejection Seat firing handle and is departing.

 

A report on the investigation into the General Dental Council’s handling of a whistleblower’s disclosure about the Investigating Committee 21 December 2015

 

This is a 270 Page report on the investigation into the General Dental Council’s handling of a whistleblower’s disclosure about the Investigating Committee dated 21 December 2015, but from events through the previous 3 years.

My goodness me. I take it all back.  The PSA do have teeth, they are most certainly sharp and their Regulatory jaws have closed around the neck of the GDC.

 

Close typed pages of absolute dynamite. Evidence based critical analysis of what the GDC did with your ARF that led to it having to be increased...A pantomime with an unbelievable plot by any other description.

 

Please do go read it Ladies and Gentlemen.  2016 may indeed be “The Year”

 

I also urge you to read it in the context of Dr Alyson Lockyer's brave attempt to drive this agenda in 2011 with the PSA in their report entitled An investigation into concerns raised by the former Chair of the General Dental Council Advice to the Department of Health February 2013

Many would say  she was right all along. How sad it has taken this long to prove it

 

Broadsword calling Billy Boy  …  Broadsword calling Billy Boy

 

Dr Moyes? Are you reading this…  You know what you should do.  Prove to us that you are the honourable and ethical Gentleman we believe you to be.

As should the whole Council, given the implications of poor oversight.

 

Pull up the table, You get the mulled wine, I’ll get the nibbles. Just feast on these nuggets of you will.

 

  • 6. Overall conclusions
  • What was the outcome of the failings in the Investigating Committee processes and support during 2013?
  • 6.1 The outcome was that the independence (and perceptions about the independence) of the GDC’s Investigating Committee were jeopardised by various practices that were designed to improve the quality and consistency of the Investigating Committee’s decision making, but which at the same time sought to restrict the Committee’s autonomy to an extent that infringed upon the appropriate separation of powers within a regulator. This could have had very serious implications for the GDC in terms of the robustness of decision making, potential judicial review actions and the consequent reputational damage. Those practices also had serious implications for the culture that developed in the Investigating Committee Secretariat, which in turn affected the working relationships between some Investigating Committee members and the Secretariat team.
  • 6.2  “   Changes had been made to the reasoning of Investigating Committee decision documents after the event and without appropriate authorisation … “
  • 6.14 …”The Chief Executive is ultimately accountable for the decisions taken about the level of information disclosed to the GDC’s committees and the Council, staff and GDC associates. The Chief Executive also had several opportunities to identify the seriousness of the problems emerging, even if they were not properly brought to their attention.”

 

And finally

Sub note 257, with my highlighting of the PSA final words in the Report. Hah!  Pass that English Sparkling Wine, dear - the one that knocks spots off Champagne ...

 

Here's to 2016 dear colleagues.

 

  • 257 We note that the Chief Executive has responded to our conclusion by stating that they believe that they acted appropriately and quickly in response to each risk as soon as it became apparent, and that they reported fairly and fully to the Audit/Audit and Risk Committee and the Council. The Chief Executive has stated to us that their view is that they have responded to each of the “shocks” that have occurred to the GDC with honesty and transparency and by taking appropriate action. In response to seeing a draft of this report the GDC has said that the Chief Executive’s reliance upon the former Director of Regulation was reasonable, has noted that the Authority’s 2012/13 performance review of the GDC did not identify problems relating to the Investigating Committee, and has referred to the fact that no complaints had been made by the Investigating Committee members, and has drawn the conclusion that the Chief Executive could not have had visibility of the problems emerging in these circumstances.
  • We [The PSA] do not agree

 

 

 

Try this by the way

http://www.englishorganicwine.co.uk/products/pinot-noir-chardonnay-2013-organic

 

Happy Christmas to one and all, and especially all our colleagues trying to level the GDC Playing Field.

 

 

 

 

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DEC
06
0

NHS Chooses - Dental Reviews

If Stephen King wrote dental reviews

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SEP
05
0

Immovable Object meets Irresistible Force

Immovable Object meets Irresistible Force

What happens when an Immovable Object meets an Irresistible Force?

 

Impasse. And so it would appear to have been for the last couple of weeks after the initial thrust of the BDA’s threats, and the parry and riposte of the GDC’s response.

 

However, I always thought it was going to be right at the end of the ‘consultation’ process that the BDA would make their next attack, and as we have seen yesterday, Mick Armstrong has told the GDC in no uncertain terms ‘ it’s 1 minute to midnight’. Waiting until the last minute has made sure the Judicial Review can’t be halted or paused to allow the consultation to finish, had it been launched prematurely and has made sure the GDC don’t get to see the BDA’s hand of cards early.

 

But this hasn’t actually seen the announcement of the BDA taking legal action to go to Judicial Review, and as such I bet a lot of people will be disappointed if they just look at this video superficially. I can see the posts on GDPUK forum that this is just BDA posturing again, and they haven’t the guts to carry out the threat.

 

But if you read the full press release as well as watching the video, and especially take time to look at the additional information within the release regarding the figures in the consultation, it is obvious the BDA are actually giving the GDC a final chance to back down. The GDC will suffer a humiliating loss of face if they do, but we as registrants and members won’t then have to foot both sets of legal bills.

 

I don’t get the impression Mick Armstrong is messing about when he says the BDA are committed to following this through. But as a fellow Yorkshireman I appreciate the sporting nature of letting your opponents know you’re going to hit them, hard, and give them a final chance to back down. But you only do that once you know you have the upper hand. The BDA might not have a Royal Flush, but it seems like the GDC only has a pair of Jokers at the moment. Reading the documents attached to the BDA’s submission leaves one in no doubt of the intention of the BDA to go to JR.

 

By engaging the services of a FORENSIC accountancy company the BDA appear to have pulled off a masterstroke; utilizing the skills of professionals specializing in detecting high level fraud, regulatory scrutiny and anti-corruption, and then publishing a précis of the findings publically must surely send the a big signal to the GDC that the BDA is not playing brinkmanship here, but actually means business. This is serious stuff now, and the BDA have now shown their cards to the GDC by revealing financial inconsistencies are what the JR will probably be based on.  

 

The forensic analysis of the accounts has apparently shown the GDC’s own published figures for the ARF hike are somewhat contradictory. These inconsistencies not only call into question the validity of the need for the ARF increase by questioning the basic level of evidence, but the inconsistency of the figures must surely now call into question the bigger picture of the integrity of the GDC in all of its financial matters. Whether this is part of the Judicial Review or not, the financial matters of the GDC must be impeccable, and they appear not to be.

 

The analysis of the figures would appear to go beyond the fact insufficient and inconsistent information has been given to registrants so they can’t actually make an informed response to the consultation. It seems to confirm the GDC is actually so contemptuous of us as intelligent people that they feel they can knowingly release confusing figures, expect us to then swallow the ARF rise, (after what we have all agreed is a sham consultation) and carry on as before. If a dentist were to confuse a patient in that manner, it would be cause for a registrant to be hauled before the GDC. Alternatively, it suggests incompetency and a lack of communication in the organizational structure of the GDC. Once again, they are grounds for a registrant to appear before the regulator. Whichever way you look at it (and it may be a combination of the two), our professional association appears to now have more robust evidence of the failings of the regulator and is prepared to act on it.

 

However since the GDC’s regulator is the PSA, and they seem to be about as threatening as a periodontally compromised 3 legged chihuahua with trismus and a sore throat, and as much use as a pair of waterproof sandals then you can’t really blame the GDC for not being too worried about the consequences of their actions.

 

Judging by the interview with Ms Gilvarry in Dentistry magazine, she doesn’t have appeared to understand what the profession is finding such a problem with. The penny certainly hasn’t dropped with her; perhaps this is because there aren’t actually any spare pennies left to drop at the GDC since their accounts seem to be in such a tangle.

 

But surely there must now be a realization by at least someone in power at the GDC that the BDA and the profession as a whole just might have a point. It would be useful if it dawned on them simultaneously that they have picked a fight with what seems to be a quickly developing Irresistible Force.

 

And they as the Immovable Object appear to have some ominous cracks developing, which wouldn’t do them a lot of good if they continue on the course they seem hell bent on taking…….

 

 

Image credit - James Cridland  under CC licence - not modified.

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