Day 2 of this year’s LDC Conference was chaired by Alisdair McKendrick skilfully and with humour. The remaining motions were debated, with full scope for discussion. Chair of BDA GDPC, Henrik Overgaard-Nielson, outlined the work of the committee in the last year. Presentations were also made by John Milne and Professor Nairn Wilson.
Chair of BDA GDPC, Henrik Overgaard-Nielson, told conference that the evaluation report of the prototypes would be published in the autumn and that the new contract will not be imposed, as happened in 2006, but staying as we are ‘was not an option’. He also castigated the remuneration system which left the GDC having to negotiate around a 1% uplift which took no account of how expenses had increased.
He outlined the work of the committee in the last year. He noted the frustrations felt by dentists after six years of testing a reformed contract but warned that if they walked away from the process, dentists would be left with nothing but the discredited UDA system. “We have to work for a better system and I will have to be carried away from the table before giving up” Henrik said.
A motion from Birmingham LDC calling for an end to engaging with the DDRB process until the Treasury’s constraints on public pay are lifted was supported by just over 57% of delegates and will now be considered by the GDPC. Another motion by this LDC, calling for current spending to be targeted to those who pay no charges was defeated.
There was unanimous support for a motion on regulation from Northamptonshire LDC to remove the multiples layers of legislation and red tape on dental practices and replace this with a single method of inspection. Delegates also voted heavily in favour of a motion calling for no confidence vote in Capita’s ability to process performer applications in a timely manner.
Conference also sent out a strong message of support for targeted fluoridation to be considered by local authorities in the 13 areas in the Starting Well scheme: these have been identified as having the worst child dental health in England. There was overwhelming support (93.8%) for a such a motion raised by East Riding of Yorkshire LDC.
Northamptonshire LDC’s proposal that the GDPC was ‘as little more than a talking shop’ and calling for a radical update of the GDPC’s working processes ‘to make them more effective’ was narrowly lost, but provoked strong debate. Chair Henrik said however that the GDPC would debates the points raised in the debate.
Another Northamptonshire LDC proposal expressing shock at ‘the completely unrepresentative number of women in dental leadership roles,’ and calling for ‘affirmative action’ also provoked a lively debate, but again was narrowly defeated. Forthright views were expressed on both sides with some delegates feeling that election should depend solely on merit.
Another motion from Birmingham LDC calling upon Local Dental Committees to ‘fund legal challenges taken by the BDA on a 50/50 payment basis’ was again strongly debated but in the end, was passed.
The conference concluded with a presentation from Professor Nairn Wilson on the innovations in dentistry that could auger well for the future of dentistry in spite difficult times.
Vijay Sudra was voted as Chair Elect for the LDC Annual Conference 2019. Elected to the GDPC, to represent the LDC Conference, were Shareena Ilyas and Roger Levy.
Next year’s LDC Conference, under chairmanship of Joe Hendron (Wakefield LDC), will take place in Belfast on June 7/8, 2018.