LDC Conference 2019: a diversity of people and opinion

It was great to see such a diversity of people and opinions at this year's LDC Conference in Birmingham, and I'd like to thank all those who attended and took part in the debates.

We were really pleased to see so many new faces and younger dentists attending and getting engaged, as LDCs are about our future, as well as what is happening now. 

If you missed it, take a look at our round-up on Twitter.

Thirty four motions were submitted by LDCs, twenty-nine passed, many unanimously. The slow process of contract reform and providing support for dentists experiencing stress were themes that took centre stage at conference, once again. 

A motion calling for a minimum UDA value of £25 was passed unanimously. During the debate, delegates heard that those involved in the contract reform pilots in Wales were already receiving this rate and their counterparts in England were seeking parity.

Delegates also voted unanimously for greater mental health support for dentists to be made available now and funded by all the health services across the UK. 

Many representatives expressed concerns in a debate about the costs associated with the gradual phasing down and withdrawal of amalgam, which are expected to be borne by dentists. There was unanimous support for a motion calling on Department of Health and Social Care to fund in full all the additional costs incurred with in this process, both in the short and long-term. 

Conference also supported a motion calling for equity between the CQC rates paid by corporates and general dental practitioners on the high street. They voted unanimously for an end to the single owner subsidy.

Delegates rejected calls from Cornwall LDC that the General Dental Practice Committee should adopt a view that NHS dentistry should only be funded for community and hospital services.

The escalation of dental charges in England, relative to Wales, was also raised amid concerns that these were masking cuts in state funding, as well as unjust. 

A call to ensure that all LDCs hold open meetings were passed, to ensure that everyone who pays the levy has an opportunity to be present. I was also pleased to see a motion passed that LDCs amend their constitutions to allow the co-opting of two young dentists to be able to attend LDC Conference.

A motion calling on the General Dental Practice Committee and the BDA to embark upon robust diversity monitoring of all representative structures, and to work to address the barriers to participation and pay disparity was also great to see. This is something I know 2020 Conference Chair Leah Farrell is passionate about and will be working on over the next year.

Delegates heard that band 1 charges are 58% more for patients in England than in Wales and there was a variance of £70 in band 3 charges between the two nations. There was unanimous support for a motion calling on the National Audit Office to investigate the disproportionate rise in charges in England.

Leading health economist, Stephen Tidman held delegates' attention during a presentation on the consequences the cash-limited dental budget in England that has not only reduced the access for patients but also the numbers of dentists that provide NHS care. 

They also received presentations from Marco Mazevet of the French Dental Association on dental contracts in France and Paul Batchelor on the different models of state-funded dentistry across Europe.

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LDC Conference 2019: Conference Papers now available

Dear Colleagues 

The last twelve months have gone in a blink and LDC Conference is now just around the corner.

I look forward to seeing you all in Birmingham.   Conference can only happen with your support and that of all of our LDCs.  I thank you all for your motions and the hard work that has gone into drafting these.  I thank you also for being supportive in amending these where it was felt necessary, and apologise we have not been able to accommodate all of the motions.   

I hope you approve of the slightly new format of having explanatory narratives accompanying the motions and welcome your comments around this.  My idea behind this is that these narratives will help give background information and context to the motions and one hopes, this will enhance your informed contribution to the debating and voting process. Hopefully, these narratives will also help to reduce ambiguities too and this should help to reduce the need for time consuming clarification.  Time is always precious at this event and I will do my best to ensure we are able to get through all of the motions by the end of the Friday morning session.  

I will take this opportunity to refer all delegates to the Standing Orders as a reminder of correct conduct of conference.   Those presenting a motion are limited to 3 minutes with the opportunity of right of return to the rostrum for 1 more minute, maximum, if needed.  So that the conference remains dynamic, we will enforce this strictly.  All speakers are encouraged to expand on their supplied narrative and not articulate this verbatim when they move their motion.  To simply recite the narrative would be deemed a waste of time and failure to utilise an opportunity to expand on why your motion should get unanimous support.

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LDC Conference 2019: it's time to register and start thinking about motions

Call for LDC Conference motions 

Please do read the letter from me highlighting what we want from motions this year.  My guidance can be found here. There will be a slightly different presentation of the motions in the agenda papers this year.  The deadline for motion submission is Tuesday 2 April.

The Annual Conference of LDCs is your conference and your contribution to the debate can make the event successful and of value to the profession at large.  

This is the only annual event where you can question whether the direction of travel of the General Dental Practice Committee is what your LDC and the colleagues you represent seek. Please start thinking about ideas for potential motion topics now. 

At a recent agenda committee meeting, it was highlighted that some LDCs are excluding (levy-paying) members of their electorate from attending LDC meetings.  

Unless something confidential is being discussed, this is unacceptable. We want a more diverse and hopefully, younger, delegation to attend conference, but how can this happen if all colleagues are not invited to LDC business? 

If you are not being invited to your regular LDC meeting, or being excluded for any reason, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can support you.

Registration for Conference is now open

Book your conference and dinner tickets online by 2 April here
(Please be ready to enter individual email addresses and GDC numbers for all Conference attendees. Non-GDC registrants should enter ‘N/A’)

How many people can my LDC send?
Please check the list of permitted attendees here before completing your registration. It may be possible for your LDC to fund additional Observers (with costs covered by individual LDCs); to discuss please contact Fiona Feltham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for more information.

Hotel booking
Book bedrooms before 15 April. Details of how are available here.

Travel and expenses
Information about travel arrangements and expense claims can be also found on the website.

British Dental Guild contributions

It was disappointing to learn recently, also, that only 50 per cent of LDCs contribute to the British Dental Guild (BDG). This is frankly, a disconcerting state of affairs. Members of GDPC who attend meetings on behalf of the profession, take time out of practice to represent you, and they are remunerated for some of their loss of earning by the BDG.

I’ve often heard LDC reps complain that the BDA and the GDPC are not doing enough for the profession, but who is going to stand up, if we do not support them, both in spirit and financially? 

If you feel strongly about not paying into the BDG, then stand up at conference and please tell us why or if you have a better solution for ensuring we are represented. 

Do you know an unsung hero?

We all have members in our LDCs who have worked tirelessly during their professional lives, often in the background never seeking the limelight, giving up many evenings for LDC business, taking valuable time out of their practising careers.  

At the LDC Dinner, we give an annual award: ‘Unsung Heroes’. If you have someone like this on your committee who you feels deserves recognition, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let’s collectively thank such individuals for their hard work. Nominations deadline is now 2 April 2019.

Relaunching the LDC website

I want to finish this month’s blog by thanking Chair Elect Leah Farrell for her sterling work in revamping the LDC Conference website. 

The content has been updated to include much more information about what happens at conference, how motions are debated and how LDC delegates can prepare themselves for the event.  

We keep asking for newbies to come to conference and we hope the information within the new website will educate, inform and inspire.  

I would encourage all seasoned attendees to visit the site too, nothing wrong with a refresher for all of us!

Until next month, best wishes.

Vijay Sudra, LDC Conference Chair 2019
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LDC Conference 2019: New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Christmas is already a distant memory, I hope you are still sticking to your NYRs. LDC Conference is only five months away and I look forward to seeing you all in Birmingham.I want emphasis on motions this year with fewer guest speakers and look forward to impassioned debate of good motions. We want to see more new faces attending, ...
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