A letter to MPs explaining our position

By Dhru Shah
Posted 21 May 2020 by Dhru Shah
Last reply 30 May 2020

Dear Sirs

We the dental profession have never felt this isolated or ignored . As hardworking citizens of this country we expect MPs to give us a fair hearing.

On 23rd march, we were advised to cease all routine care. The Chief Dental Officers suggested this to all of their respective countries . In England , the CQC informed us to follow the CDO advice and cease all routine care and refer all emergencies to a designated urgent care centres. However this was done with flawed and unclear knowledge that has led to a legal review being prepared

The dental practices have now been left with closure and no income for 2 months with no sign or indication of when we will open . Infact, a recent report suggested that it is likely that 7 in 10 practices could go under.

The chancellor's package of support for individuals as well as businesses totally excluded dentistry - both on the individual level (as most are self employed and were not able to claim support as they are over the threshold) and businesses (as dentistry related businesses do not quality for business rate relief or grants ). This has left us all in very difficult situations. 

Adding fuel to fire, the General Dental Council that regulates us have today suggested that they will not reduce our annual retention fee citing that they have to remain financially sustainable and that it is their statutory responsibility. They claim they cannot allow phased payments either. Everytime they revert to the statutory framework in which they are set which does not allow them to make changes.  This is a regulatory body that has millions in reserve who are asking people with no income to continue at the same level AND not even consider phased payments. Could MPs investigate which aspects of statutory legislation enable this and consider changing it to give the GDC more autonomy?

The disastrous consequences are that we are left with no income, fully exposed to a situation not of our making , being charged through the nose by bodies who claim to regulate us and the worse consequence...

.. patients have been left without a dentist to see emergencies . Patients in pain may be referred to the urgent care centres but beyond that other emergencies cannot all be seen at the urgent care centres (especially if they are private ) and those who have non threatening emergencies are excluded ..with the risk of long term threatening emergencies.

We as a profession request MPs to assess and respond to the perfect chaos created by this. Setting up so many bodies that cannot either coordinate or talk to each other and DO not understand the situation has put individuals and patients at riskYour insight is most appreciated