GDC rejects BDA claims over ARF consultation

12 August, 2014

The General Dental Council (GDC) has rejected the British Dental Association’s (BDA) claims that the consultation on the level of the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) is unlawful.

The BDA had challenged the regulator to either shut down the consultation or provide documentary evidence of the policy and the evidence which the proposed 64 per cent fee hike was based or face the prospect of a judicial review.

However, this afternoon the GDC – through law firm Kingsley Napley – sent a letter to Chris Morris, BDA member and partner at health and social enterprise law firm Hempsons, insisting that the consultation is legal, clear and fair.

The seven-page letter begins by saying: “For the reasons set out below, our client considers that such a challenge [for judicial review] would be misconceived. Accordingly, our client does not intend to withdraw the consultation nor take the other steps set out at paragraph 36 of your letter. In short, the GDC’s position is that the consultation is being conducted fairly and in accordance with its broad discretion as to how to carry out a consultation exercise…”

At the end of the letter, it reads: “Accordingly please can you confirm that your client’s threat of judicial review proceedings is withdrawn.

“If notwithstanding the above your client does issue proceedings – which will be vigorously defended – we are instructed to accept service. Please confirm that any application for injunctive relief will be made on notice. Please be aware that in the event of an application for an injunction, our client will seek an undertaking as to damages which will include all losses consequent on delay to the passing of the ARF Regulations in September 2014.”

To read the GDC’s letter in full click here.

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