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Another day in court with the GDC?

6 November 2015

Another day in court with the GDC?

Hello readers and welcome to this week’s newsletter. Dentistry hardly ever makes the front pages. If it does it’s usually for the wrong reasons. Bizarrely, dentistry was making the back pages this week as we discovered that a bunch of footballers on an average of around £30,000 a week aren’t taking good care of their teeth.

When you think about it, it’s not that shocking. Footballers promote sugary drinks and foods all the time. McDonalds and Coca-Cola are the main sponsors of FIFA. Speaking of Coca-Cola, it was hard for this writer not to be swept up with excitement by the “Holidays are coming” advert when I was (not that much) younger, but a Labour MP made a very good point when criticising the truck tour of the UK this week.

There is probably only one topic on the minds of dentists this week, however, as the British Dental Association issued a stinging rebuke to the General Dental Council and their plans to maintain the ARF at its current level of £890 for another year.

Their lengthy legal document highlights no less than 4 clear reasons as to why the GDC’s latest consultation could be challenged in court and another 4 reasons as to why their latest consultation again breaches the fundamental rules of consultation. So it ultimately begs the question! Will we see the GDC in court again?

It’s a pretty heavy document, but bear with me. In the “potential grounds for challenge” section, it states: “Given that the GDC committed itself to transparent consultation in respect of any fee rise and that no such proper and fair consultation was carried out last year, the GDC ought to have conducted a full and fair consultation explaining the fee rise, explaining why it had to be maintained, and including arguable alternatives which had been considered and rejected. I do not consider that this has been done.”

It also states: “While it is a matter for the GDC how to go about the consultation exercise, given the unlawful consultation last year, it was incumbent on the GDC to ensure that any consultation this year both explained the initial fee rise and the continued maintenance of that level. The consultation document does not do this…”

An exasperated profession will surely welcome this action by the BDA and it is very much a “watch this space” time to see what the GDC does next. It looks like, sooner rather than later, we could have another court case on our hands.

What do you think? Comment below and send us your thoughts to Until next time…

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