Editorial Comment: Impressive but ineffective
 

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Editorial Comment: Impressive but ineffective

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Editorial Comment: Impressive but ineffective

 

Editorial Comment: Impressive but ineffective

The title of this month’s editorial describes best the admirable efforts of the federation of London Local Dental Committees when they stormed Parliament.

Fully covered on the front page of this issue, the group of angry NHS dentists held a special meeting which was dogged with misfortune – in that the Health Bill, the same piece of legislation they were complaining about so vociferously, was going through a second reading. All MPs sympathetic to the plight of dentists or with a passionate concern for health, were sat on the green seats affecting change, and not in the grand committee room, hearing the genuine concerns from the profession. It was a substantial piece of bad-luck.

But some MPs wandered in and out throughout the debate and were surprised at the passion and anxiety of dentists.

My invitation came from Sir Paul Beresford MP, a member of this journal’s editorial advisory board. He offered an illuminating insight into how MPs work and how they should be lobbied effectively. He had admiration for the federation’s aims, and said it would have been more effective to have presented a solution, as well as highlighting the problems.

All in all, the meeting allowed dentists to let off some steam about the proposed new arrangements. It served to highlight dentists total lack of trust in the government’s willingness and ability to guide and direct PCTs with the funds they are given. The meeting allowed dentists to air their issues in grand surroundings but whether Barry Cockcroft, acting chief dental officer, will be able to fix any of this who knows.

Since it is Christmas and the season of good will to all government departments, I will end on a short and very general summary. Over the last 12 months, Dentistry magazine and I have been accused of, in one breath pandering to the government, and in another breath, not being hard enough in exposing the frailties of the new contract. Well let me take this opportunity to be clear and blunt on the matter; the new draft contract has caused confusion in the profession (our readers). Therefore, we asked the Department of Health for an explanation of the contract, written in a language we can all understand, which was printed as a FACTUAL FMC supplement last month, satisfying the needs of our readers for a clear and simple document. This is in line with our policy of being a valuable source of information!
But the fact remains that the new contract is not approved by the BDA, DPA or Dentistry magazine. It is untested. It is vague and confusing where it gives bad news for dentists. The major problems raised by the federation of London Local Dental Committees and others raised by many of you out there must be addressed very quickly, otherwise there will be little or no NHS dentistry to discuss come April 2006.

Julian English, Executive editor

 Posted on : Tue 6th - Dec - 2005

 

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