Live debate at LDC Conference 2017

Live debate at LDC Conference 2017

13 Jun 2017

GDPC Chair Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen addresses delegates at LDCUK 2017

Twenty-six topics were debated at the Local Dental Committees Annual Conference in Birmingham (8-9 June), which was attended by 161 LDC representatives and 27 from the BDA's General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC).

Motions on contract reform and clawback took centre stage with prototype practice owners testifying that changes needed to be made to the business model to make contract reform workable.

97 per cent of representatives voted in favour of a motion from Durham and Darlington LDC calling on the contract reform team to find a new way of measuring activity and for more time to deliver care. A motion from North Yorkshire LDC calling for the suspension of the current prototypes because they are unworkable was narrowly defeated.

GDPC Chair Henrik Overgaard-Nielson 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.

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 a no-confidence vote in Capita's ability to process performer applications in a timely manner.

A Question Time-style debate, with a panel of five dentists, prompted lively discussions on a wide range of issues including what could make dentistry more attractive to young dentists, and what happens to the money claw backed from dental practices. CDO for England Sara Hurley estimated this to be as much as £95 million and said it went back to other areas of primary care – mainly optics, and general medical practice but not dentistry.

Representatives heard a presentation from Claire Stevens, a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry in Manchester, about the importance of seeing children by the age of one to reduce the number one cause of children being admitted to hospital.

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 per cent) for a such a motion raised by East Riding of Yorkshire LDC.

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.

Local Dental Committees

Local Dental Committees (LDCs) in the UK were set up in 1948, at the inception of the NHS. In England and Wales, the provision in the statute has been made for them to be recognised and consulted since the NHS Act 1977. Local NHS representatives may consult with LDCs on any matters of local dental interest. In both Scotland and Northern Ireland no provision is made for LDCs in a statute. LDCs in both countries do exist and frequently consult with the health boards for their respective localities. There are 110 LDCs across the UK.