Essex Local Dental Committee

Essex Local Dental Committee

Minutes of meeting held 6.2.09. at Chelmsford Golf Club, Chelmsford, Essex.

Hon. Secretary : Tony Clough, Roxwell House, Roxwell, Essex, CM1 4NL

Tel :01245 248553,  e-mail :

Assist. Secretary : Clinton Foreman,

Tel : 07718 900909,  e-mail :

Treasurer : Mark Preston, 90a High St, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 7SQ

Tel : 01268 683739,  e-mail :


Apologies for absence : None.

Minutes of previous meeting : Approved.

Matters arising : Nil.

Treasurer : MP reported current + reserve balance at £94,540, but with previous years' expenses and current honoraria to be paid, and no contribution to British Dental Guild or Dentists" Health Support paid last year. Old South and North Essex LDC accounts finally closed, and Lloyd and Whyte insurance paid (to cover legal expenses if LDC is challenged when giving advice). Draft 2008 accounts (and previous years from 2004) can be viewed on the website (e-mail MP if you need a password).

Chairman : Nil.

Secretatial: CF gave report on LDC Officials' Day - see website, and discussed the possibility of inviting BDA advisers to speak at local meetings (£500 + expenses per aft/eve session) on Local Commissioning, NHS tendering, practice sale/purchase, etc., or the more involved training workshops (£600 + VAT for BDA members) over two days. Mark Shackell said that the SHA would talk to us about monitoring (a popular suggestion), and Jane Grech felt that a session on tendering was essential. MS reminded everyone that guaranteed income ceases on 31.3.09., although there appears to be no inclination shown by the PCTS (nor guidance from the DoH) to alter contracts, unless the practicing profile had altered significantly in a high UDA value practice. Three months notice is required to move from PDS to GDS. - AC and CF expressed dissatisfaction with the large financial contribution made by Essex LDC to the annual LDC Conference, and the way that it has been emasculated over the years. Bill Abbott lamented the lack of debate, and Brian Harvey agreed to write outlining our concerns. Members" comments should be sent to BH as soon as possible ( - AC reported on funding for training dental nurses via the Joint Investment Framework (two funding streams), and the need to advise dentists how to access this money. Various members complained that they had been forced to pay for training, despite £10 million available to the East of England (no details on their website, and nothing is available retrospectively). AC said that a nurse who fails can apply to do an NVQ (can be done in practice and receive credit for that already achieved taking the "Certificate"). Piers Lambert agreed to give an explanatory presentation at the next meeting. - The Oral Health Foundation Course for hygienists/therapists now has 5 survivors out of 12, with a new cohort started. SHA will support funding, but some PCTs do not consider it value for money, and need encouragement from the trainers. - AC and MS attended a clinical network meeting on orthodontics, which proposed a country-wide referral form (training in IOTN needed?) for "Referral Hubs" where patients are assessed prior to being given options as to where they wish to be treated, i.e., those providers that have space. - "Looked After" children can be seen by dentists as early as necessary, and it is incorrect for PCTs to suggest that Essex dentists have refused to see these children if they are below the age of two years.

DoH Guidance to PCTs : MS advised members that there is a whole raft of new jargon to learn as the DoH forges ahead with ‘World Class Commissioning’ designed to improve access and oral health, whilst increasing monitoring via all PCTs e-reporting to produce the so-called ‘Dental Dashboards’ for each practice/individual dentist (see website). Commissioners will have much more extensive information on each practice, and PCTs are actively seeking details of treatment and attendance experience from patients, as well as checking frequency of visits re ‘continuation’ courses, replacement crowns, etc. Re-commissioned UDAs usually have to go through the commissioning process, especially if >£50K, and will be checked by the "Performance Commissioner". Last year there was an additional 11% funding, and this year 8.5%, which is to be allocated differentially, with Essex getting 3% extra, equating to : NE £800,00, W £1.5M, SW £1.3M, ME £1.15M and SE £1.23M, although it is rumoured that some PCTs may be reorganised/joined together, with the usual change of personnel/experience. DoH has produced new PILs, with a new poster for 1.4.09. and simplified PILs + a twenty page guide to what treatment patients are entitled.The DoH has responded to the negative report of the Health Select Committee by setting up another review, this time headed by Professor Jimmy Steele of Newcastle University. There will be no GDPs on the review board.

Infection Control Guidelines : There is a letter from the CDO re PCTs inspecting practices and establishing a national baseline, improving to "best practice". A self-assessment toolkit ("SAT") is anticipated by the end of March.

PAG Adviser : Bob Davey reported on a GDP who was accused of manipulating treatment patterns. This was admitted to the PCT, eventually, and after much advice, and BD is to mentor the GDP and report back to the PCT.

New Complaints Procedures : BH reported that the detail is unknown as yet, but it will be in two stages, where the patient chooses to go either to the practice or to the PCT (although the practice has to inform the PCT). Anything above level 4 will be referred to an adjacent PCT. BH to explain further when more information is available.

AGM : MS has agreed to be the "Returning Officer" for the elections, but this will take2-3 months to organise and BH expressed his concern that things are drifting re the "annual" AGM. The Constitution needs 6 weeks notice. It was decided to fit in as much as possible at the next meeting.

AOB : CF advised members of the ITV programme entitled "What's in your mouth", which broadly referred to mercury-based restorations, and contained an interesting cameo from the CE of the BDA, Peter Ward. Not to be missed (on ITV i-player). PL reported seeing a "PCT Tent" outside Tescos, where patients could get free check-ups, or receive vouchers for free examinations at participating practices. CF advised of some animosity towards Essex LDC by the other LDCs in the Eastern Region. It was agreed that CF would try to coordinate a meeting where MS would be invited, as well as Richard Ward, the Public Health representative favoured by the other LDCs (there is a requirement for the SHA to meet LDC representatives).

Next meeting : Monday 27th April 7.00pm (to include AGM). Please bring a young/new colleague.

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