BADN President Fiona Ellwood attended the FGDP(UK) biennial Pendlebury lecture given by Bill Moyes, Chair of the General Dental Council in which he spoke of the challenges being faced as it moves forward in a rapidly changing climate of accountability and litigation.
Mr. Moyes' address began with an overview of his time in office to date, and some of his initial thoughts and findings. Much of the focus was around patient complaints, fitness to practice and the need to work more closely with others in addressing fitness to practice issues, which continue to rise - and the disappointment that this session of Parliament will not include the draft Bill produced by the Law Commission. Whilst the implication was that any expansion of the GDC's activities would not be a burden to the profession, the possibility of a considerable increase in the Annual Retention fee causes BADN some concern.
The current Annual Retention Fee of £120 for all DCPs, regardless of the discrepancy in salary levels between dental nurses and other DCP groups, is already causing financial hardship to dental nurses – particularly those on minimum wage and/or working part time. Any expansion of the GDC’s activity will be, as are its present activities, funded wholly by registrants’ fees and likely to lead to an escalation of the ARF. This could put it out of the reach of many dental nurses, leaving them no option but to de-register and leave the profession. A dearth of registered dental nurses is not in the best interests of dentistry as a whole and is detrimental to patient care.
BADN urges its members, and other GDC registrants, to read the complete transcript here.