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JUL
13
0

An open letter to Mr Brack of the GDC

typewriter Image by rakka_pl

Dear Mr Brack,

I have previously been a harsh critic of the GDC, especially in the days of the previous registrar. Indeed, I wrote many blogs that were well received by the profession. With the departure of the previous registrar, there was an opportunity for the GDC to begin to repair the damage it had done to the profession by the draconian and inefficient manner in which it had been led.

There appeared to be a time when the new team seemed to be developing a far more appropriate attitude to regulation, and I therefore felt it appropriate to perhaps watch the situation without commenting further. It was disappointing when Jonathan Green left, although I did feel that with you at the head of the Organisation (for indeed it is NOT a business but a QUANGO I think you will find) then there would be a continuation of the bridge building that was sorely needed.

However, whilst there seem to have been some minor improvements, fundamentally there seems to be no real change in the way the GDC wishes to be perceived by the profession and how it executes its statutory duty. Under the aegis of protecting the public, it is actually doing more to negatively affect the public it serves to protect by continuing to prosecute its role in a draconian and often arrogant manner. There is still huge a lack of insight into the damage it is doing to the morale and the well being of its registrants; damage that can be squarely blamed on the actions of the GDC itself.

Because when a profession is so scared of its very shadow that it can no longer function as it is supposed to, then the ONLY thing that will happen is harm to the public. That these professionals are so scared of virtually every treatment they do, every comment they make (including ones like this), and every action they take is a sad indictment of the way that the GDC is systematically destroying the very profession it regulates.

By retaining the ARF at the same level again, with yet another different reason than before, is symptomatic of the disdain and the contempt with which the profession perceive the GDC have for them. The profession are happy to be regulated, but by a fair, just, and right touch regulator. The continued heavy touch that the GDC continues to use cannot continue if the profession is to survive to be allowed to serve its patients as there will come a tipping point where we will no longer be willing to accept the duress of just turning up to work. If we placed a colleague under this type of stress in our workplace then WE would rightly fear being reported to our regulator.

We are human beings who set ourselves out to care for other human beings. There is no higher privilege than to care for another. However, we make mistakes, we are fallible. You are the same as us, a fellow of the Human race.

We rarely do things wrong deliberately, but we shouldn’t live in fear that the next thing we do both privately or in our jobs could end our careers and destroy our lives.

Please think of the damage that is being done to our profession by this apparent continued lack of insight displayed by the GDC.

Kind Regards,

Simon Thackeray

 

Image credit - Rakka_pl under CC licence - not modified.

 

 

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JAN
20
2

Complacency or Conspiracy?

Complacency or Conspiracy?

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.

 

That Letter

Firstly we have the Daily Telegraph Letter, discussed widely on here, as well as a supporting article in the newspaper itself.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12079233/Third-World-dentistry-crisis-in-England.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/12077501/Letter-The-NHS-dental-health-system-is-unfit-for-purpose.html

 

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.

https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/footer-pages/news-and-media/latest-news/news-article?id=91bb5b9e-2ce2-6f4b-9ceb-ff0000b2236b

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.

 

The BDA

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

http://www.eryldc.co.uk/download/i/mark_dl/u/4012071383/4625508579/LDC%20Officials%20Day%20Notes%20Friday%204th%20December%202015.pdf

 

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!

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Recent Comments
Eddie Crouch

Not accurate

Not accurate BDA issued the following press summary on 5th January Dentist who billed clients and NHS for same work pleads guilty... Read More
Thursday, 21 January 2016 19:25
Anthony Kilcoyne

BDA website online NO mention ...

Dear Eddie, As a BDA member I looked upon the BDA website bda.org, home page, news and press releases tabs every single day for a... Read More
Friday, 22 January 2016 21:54
6929 Hits
JAN
11
0

The Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph

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8649 Hits
SEP
20
0

Perspective

I wouldn't recommend him to my worst teecher

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MAY
27
0

An Open letter to the New Chief Dental Officer

Dear Colonel Hurley,

The profession would like to congratulate you on your appointment to the post of Chief Dental Officer. As someone with a reputation for professional change management, then your appointment is seen as a welcome one by many.

The profession has not recently been blessed with a CDO who it can feel it truly relates to, and many may feel that the last few years have been detrimental to the quality of dental care available in the United Kingdom. Whilst the position of CDO will always be to do the will of its paymaster, Her Majesty’s Government, I am sure you will continually keep your professional responsibility to the profession at the forefront of your mind.

At a time of unprecedented change and pressure within the profession, you will have the opportunity to rebuild the bridges that have been lost over the years. One of the ways of doing this would be to listen very closely to the concerns of the profession, and most importantly do not be afraid to tell the truth of the problems we are experiencing. After all, you are a member of our profession first and foremost, and what is bad for the profession is bad for patient care.

A New NHS contract will no doubt be a priority; but in whatever incarnation this takes, it needs complete and total clarity as to what treatment is available for patients under the rules. There should be no room for abuse by those who use a lack of definition to perpetuate the problems of the current system. Contract negotiations based on honesty are a must; and if the government cannot afford what it wants, then it should be told in no uncertain terms that this is impossible to achieve. Not only do our representatives the BDA have this responsibility, but so do you. Only by listening to and working with the profession in a fully engaged and mutually respectful manner can this be secured. If this means a core service for the NHS, or a new way of thinking that benefits both patients and teams alike then it should be piloted properly and not forced on the profession in the manner it has before; please don’t forget that the success of dental care depends on those delivering it. You have a track record in delivering high quality change within a budget; but do not underestimate the suspicion of the profession as to how government will treat them.

The inequities of dental care must be addressed; and the continued lack of a joined up policy on dental health in the nation is still something that makes dentistry a poor cousin to other health issues. When dental problems are the number one cause of admission to hospital for children, can nobody actually see it would be cheaper to fight the problem at source rather than wait until the problem occurs? There would be no better long term legacy for a CDO than to have truly changed the face of dental health in the UK for the better. A public face of the profession that is prepared to stand up for the patient and not hide behind government spin and empty promises is what the profession requires if faith in the position of CDO is to be renewed. A clear message is what the public need.

The situation with our young practitioners having to play some kind of bizarre lottery to gain a job on graduation is another aspect of the profession that you must turn your attention to. At the very beginning of their careers, we have an increasing number of them considering whether or not they have made the right choice for their futures; and by association this is the future of the profession too. Whilst part of this lack of morale lies at the door of our failing regulator, to then heap on the uncertainty of a tiering system will eventually result in the profession being devoid of is youngest talent, without which it will wither.

So, as you approach the start of your tenure as CDO, the profession can only really ask one thing of you.

After years of obfuscation, spin, and confusion;

We need clarity.

Yours Sincerely,

 

The Profession.

 

Image credit - Jason Dean  under CC licence - not modified.

 
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