An overview of 2017’s Annual ConferenceThe 2017 Annual Conference of LDCs, chaired by Alisdair McKendrick was held in Birmingham on 8 and 9 June. It was great to see so many of you there! A full post-event report along with footage from the Conference is in production but in the meantime here’s a little overview.
Twenty six topics were debated with motions on contract reform and clawback taking centre stage with prototype practice owners testifying that changes needed to be made to the business model to make contract reform workable.
97% 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 form North Yorkshire LDC calling for the suspension of the current prototypes because they are unworkable was narrowly defeated.
Chair of BDA GDPC, Henrik Overgaard-Nielson outlined the work of the committee in the last year and 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.
A Question Time styled 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.
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 such a motion raised by East Riding of Yorkshire LDC.
The conference included a presentation from Claire Stevens, a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry in Manchester, who spoke about the importance of seeing children by the age of one to reduce the number one cause of children being admitted to hospital. Professor Nairn Wilson also spoke about the innovations in dentistry that could auger well for the future of dentistry in spite difficult times.
The Conference Dinner on Thursday evening was an opportunity to honour Allan McCulloch (North Staffordshire) and Marc Friedman (Hertfordshire) with Unsung Hero Awards in recognition of their contribution to the LDC Community. Guests enjoyed engaging speeches from Alisdair as Chair, and by Kevin Lewis, former Dental Director of Dental Protection.
At the end of the event Alisdair handed the reins over to Joe Hendron as chair of 2018 LDC annual conference, whilst Vijay Sudra was elected chair elect for 2019.
Next year the event will be held in Belfast. So save the dates – Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June 2018 and further details will follow.