The Dentist Magazine.

Debate on contract reform

Published: 03/05/2017

Over 250 dentists from across the UK are due to attend the annual gathering of Local Dental Committees (LDCs) in Birmingham on June 8-9.

The conference, which is attended by LDC representatives from across the country, will debate motions on a wide range of issues that have a practical impact on general dental practitioners’ working lives. Those expressing dissatisfaction with the prototype model of reforms, contract clawback and red tape/onerous regulation are likely to occupy centre stage.

The conference will also host for the first time a ‘Question Time’ style debate, chaired by Alisdair McKendrick, who is also chair of the 2017 LDCs annual conference. The panel will include Professor Nairn Wilson, Paul Worskett (participant in NHS prototypes), Nikki Patel from the BDA Young Dentists Committee and Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, chair of the BDA General Dental Practice Committee.

Delegates will also hear a presentation from Claire Stevens, consultant in paediatric dentistry, who will argue that seeing children at the dental practice by the age of one is not only good for building dental practices but could also make significant in-roads into reducing the scandalously high numbers of youngsters who are admitted to hospital for removal of decayed teeth.

John Milne will provide an update on developments around the Practitioners Advice and Support Scheme (PASS), clinical audit and peer review.

The conference, supported by the BDA, will close with a presentation on the future of dentistry by Professor Nairn Wilson.

Alisdair McKendrick, commented, “The LDC Conference has been representing the interests of grass-roots NHS dentists since 1948. We need them now more than ever but, to ensure their ongoing relevance, I urge GDPs everywhere to get involved in their local dental committee. 

“This year we’ll debate what’s topical in dento-legal politics but not only that, we’ll also be looking at the future of dentistry for the next generation of dentists.

“They face challenges like no other – new graduates are laden with debt with no clear career path, with the emergence of the corporates and a chronic underinvestment in NHS dentistry now, more than ever, we need to stand together.”