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An LDC Special Conference regarding reform of the GDC -


As you all know, the BDA lead by our new excellent Chair Mick Armstrong, have made it clear to the GDC that they potentially face judicial review if the GDC does not revise its current position regarding the Annual Retention Fee (ARF).


I am sure you will of all seen the excellent DPL response to the GDC consultation but in case you have not please see the link, it is certainly worth a read.


In the process of 73 LDCs writing to GDC about the proposed Annual Retention Fee (ARF) proposed increase we said we would look into the option of a Parliamentary Lobby / PR company. A meeting took place on Friday with a company called PLMR –  PLMR do a lot of work with the British Endodontic Society currently.


In essence the meeting produced in outline a campaign that is twofold  / interdependent and patient centric –

  1. (1)The press
  2. (2)Lobbying MPs and various officials.


The press campaign could ask –

Has regulation reached a tipping point? Could this affect ‎access for patients to dental care?

Regarding quality, could it be argued, standard 1.7 actually makes offering patients choice harder?


This would be a constant rolling campaign up to the end of December.


A component is about targeting marginal Conservative seats and so obviously increasing  the pressure on the current government to act.


What it will cost each LDC will be supplied in the next day two.


PLMR feel a Special LDC Conference alongside the above would support such a campaign but it will also

  1. (1)Up the stakes
  2. (2)Seize the initiative
  3. (3)Kick off a campaign that could ultimately lead to achieving one, some or all of our objectives LDCs for reform of the GDC.


We have emailed the National LDC Executive, who have outlined what is required to call a special LDC conference -

group of LDC's can request a special conference at any point in time.

The  necessary process is laid out in standing orders and briefly requires 20 or more LDC's to formally request such a conference. So there is no de facto deadline.

Once the request has been received then LDC Agenda Committee has to organise a suitable venue and agenda within 30 days.

In practice this will mean a special conference meets on one day with no overnight expenses being paid (except in exceptional circumstances). The conference venue would most probably be central London with the conference starting at 10.30am to allow for travel on the day (as for GDPC). 

The agenda will need to be clear and limited to a single issue as this will effectively be an EGM of LDC Conference -so there cannot be a rehash of previous LDC motions passed or failed. Agenda Committee will endeavour to arrange suitable speakers for and against the special conference motion.

I now have to bounce this back to you and ask 

Do you have an agreed motion to put forward?

Do you have the requisite number of LDC's signed up to the motion?

Do you wish to make a formal request for a Special LDC Conference to be called?


In view of the above, my LDC colleagues and I would like to ask each LDCs on this email whether they could support

  1. (1)The calling of a special LDC conference?
  2. (2)Could they support the following motion –


“This Conference believes the ongoing financial and administrative costs of the unprecedented increase in regulatory burden is having a hugely detrimental effect on the viability of dental practices and this in turn will  greatly affect the quality of patient care and access to dental services, both NHS and private. The Conference moves that an alternative approach to regulation of dentistry is sought that both protects the public and allows dentists to take back control of our profession.”

We think the whole regulation of dentistry should be simplified and updated with a modern, well-funded GDC with a balance of lay people and dentists on its governing body, to do the job as a “one stop shop”, including a far clearer, simpler and more intelligently gradated complaints handling structure.


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