Essex Local Dental Committee

Essex Local Dental Committee

Minutes of meeting held 27.4.09. 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 : Mark Shackell, Jane Jordan, Nick Pandya

Minutes of previous meeting : Approved.

Matters arising : Nil.

Treasurer: Despite problems with collection, current a/c £55K and reserve a/c £51K, and CF last 3 years expenses paid (much reduced and not redacted). Thanks to Bob Davey and Rusi Hodivala for £11K from Voluntary Fighting Fund (£1300 stopped by HSBC - to be retrieved).

Chairman : BH welcomed new attendees Oloyinka Awolesi and Henry Van Der Merwe.

Secretatial: CF gave a report on E. of Eng. Deanery regional meeting for dental pre-professional qualification funding for dental nurses, practice managers, receptionists, administrative support, etc. (see website) and outlined funding streams via the Joint Investment Framework (Learning and Skills Council and Skills for Health). AC reported on a procurement meeting with the great and the good that highlighted public dissatisfaction with NHS dentistry (especially access). DoH keen on corporates and bigger practices joined to medical centres, with £150K/year recurring to improve access. Quality high on agenda and accepted that higher UDA values produced better value for money and improved PCT relationships. Generally agreed that standard of PCT staff very variable and that this needs to be highlighted to PCTs/SHAs. CF reported on the LDC delegates meeting with the CDO (B.Cockroft) and Deputy CDO (S.Gregory) which covered such diverse topics as sale of practices, seniority pay, access, procurement, vocational training, the Jimmy Steele review, child only contracts and standard UDA values, amongst others. See website for full report.

Capital Funding and Commissioning / Procurement changes : : AC gave presentation in MS's absence. Needs assessment will drive new capacity commissioned from local providers and corporates, although PCTs have different people heading commissioning/procurement/contracts, etc., and often these people are unavailable or are moved to other posts. Jimmy Steele has highlighted inefficiencies in the system with PCTs unable to plan ahead and exhibiting lack of trust with dentists. DoH has promised capital funding to improve material condition of practices, with the usual strings attached. BH said that a lot of premises are not fit for purpose re new infection control guidelines, and this will worsen when private practices come on board in 2011, although there will be 12 months leeway.

End of Year Contract Monitoring / Vital Signs : AC said that PCTs receive much more comprehensive data than providers, and will be looking into re-attendance within 3 months, not taking on new patients, patient satisfaction, etc., and will ask dentists for explanation of unusual work patterns, patient dissatisfaction, etc. BH suggested requesting PCT data under "Freedom of Information Act" and AC asked members for their reasons for seeing patients within 3 months in order to appraise PCTs of the many possible situations that occur routinely, particularly in "access practices".

Orthodontics : Spencer Nute gave an update on the challenges for PCTs after the E. of Eng. SHA pledge that the 18 week target from referral to treatment (RTT) will be delivered in primary care as well as secondary care from next year (see website). SN highlighted the lack of data held and understood by the PCTs alongside the lack of long-term staff continuity, and questioned the PCTs' plan for centralised referral processes, since this will remove GDPs' choice over who provides treatment for their patients, and relies heavily on prompt and efficient action by PCT staff. SN agreed to represent the LDC at the Managed Clinical Networks meeting (local PCT commissioners and dental leads, local orthodontic providers and LDC and general dental representation) to set up a decent working model, and report back at our next meeting.

LDC Conference : AC said that we should contribute pro rata, as we do not receive LDC levy from all Essex dentists. BH requested conference motion suggestions from members by e-mail for the attendees (BH, AC, CF, Bill Abbot and Piers Lambert) at The Tower Hotel on 18/19th June 2009.

AOB : New complaints procedure started 1.4.09. New Guide to NHS Dental Service will be on web, advising that there are no exclusions to NHS treatment, that dentists should advise on diet/tobacco/alcohol, and that dentists should not claim that private treatment is better than NHS treatment. Piers Lambert then gave an excellent power point presentation on dental nurse training and funding. Details on the website - see

Next meeting : To be advised. Please bring a young/new colleague.

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