David McColl, Vice Chair of SDPC stood in for Robert Donald, Chair of SPDC, who was sadly unable to attend this year’s Conference due to personal family reasons. On behalf of Conference David wished Robert’s family well.
D McColl explained that three motions passed by conference last year, had not all been made SDPC policy. He referred delegates to Conference paper SLDC2017/05 which provided a detailed background to the SDPC discussions.
2016 Motion No 8: ‘This conference supports crowd funding legal challenges to rules, regulations; guidelines and decisions which help cultivate a climate of fear under which we all practice dentistry’.
David stated that this motion was eventually supported by SDPC and that an SDPC Crowd Funding Policy document had been implemented and was available in hard copy for delegates. The document could also be found at: https://bda.org/SPDC-news
2016 Motion 12: ‘This Conference proposes that new NHS practices should only be permitted to be established in areas where there is proven to be a lack of NHS provision’.
David reported that there were a number of reasons why this motion was not made SDPC policy and this decision was reached by an SDPC majority vote.
2016 Motion 21: ‘This Conference calls upon the Scottish Government to clarify the role of the Chairperson of the Scottish Dental Practice Board, specifically his/her role in liaising directly with dentists in the event of a PSD raising concerns with an individual dentist’s profile or claims history. This would allow transparency and give the potential for local resolution’.
David explained that due to factual incorrectness SDPC had been unable to accept the motion as policy.
D McColl went on to speak about the key issues SDPC had addressed over the last 12 months. He began by speaking about the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body Report (DDRB) noting that the BDA/ SDPC evidence as with last year and previous years’ demonstrated the significant and ongoing decline in dentist’s incomes along with their plummeting morale and motivation. Voluntary early retirement of Scottish GDPs has double over the last two years. Scottish GDPs have the lowest taxable income of the four UK countries and because income (turnover) has not increased by as much as expenses (due to inflation), this has led to unprecedented high expense ratios and record low levels of net profits. Following this year’s recommendations by the DDRB of a 1% pay uplift in Scotland, BDA Scotland and SDPC had arranged a meeting with the CDO and her team to negotiate the expenses element of the award on 4 May 2017.
D McColl went on to speak about the various working groups set up by SDPC including, Stress, Reviewing the SDR, Development Programme of Adult Dental Services and Changing the Balance of Practice Earnings. The work from all of the groups had been helpful in providing detail included in the BDA Scotland response to the Scottish Government Consultation. The work of most of the groups was currently on hold until more is known about the outcomes of the Scottish Government Consultation. David was pleased to announce that the results of the work undertaken by the SDPC Changing the Balance of Practice Earnings Group had concluded and a copy of the SDPC Guidance document was available for all guests and delegates. More information can be found at: https://bda.org/SPDCnews
Work of the joint BDA, SDPC and PSD Working Group in response to the BDA survey carried out on behalf of SDPC into the Quality and Performance of Services of PSD was almost complete, with PSD putting in place new systems to improve the PSD Dental Helpdesk, using plain English in their correspondence and moving towards e-Prior Approval. A second survey was being considered for later in the year, once the new PSD systems have been in place for some time.
SDPC would continue to address such issues as: seeking a decontamination allowance, keeping a watching brief on the amalgam Minamata Treaty and the affects it will have on the profession. It was also noted that the Scottish Government Practitioners with Problems Working Group had concluded, but that the outcomes of the group were awaited. SDPC believes that it is important to aim for local resolution rather than all cases being referred to the GDC direct.
D McColl assured delegates that SDPC will continue to shape policy and challenge the Scottish Government to act on the will of conference in the year ahead.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.