BDA disappointed but not surprised at GDC response

13 August, 2014 / editorial

The British Dental Association (BDA) has expressed its disappointment at the General Dental Council’s (GDC) response to its legal challenge over the proposed Annual Retention Fee (ARF) increase.

The BDA initially gave the regulator until 4pm on 8 August to respond to its challenge, which was extended to 4pm on 12 August at the last minute. The BDA had challenegd the GDC 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.

Yesterday afternoon (12 Aug), the GDC responded with a seven-page letter insisting that the consultation was clear, legal and fair.

Dr Mick Armstrong, chairman of the British Dental Association’s Principal Executive Committee, responded by saying: “Today the GDC has decided to stand by its flawed consultation. We are disappointed but not surprised by the regulator’s arguments. We do not accept they have answered the questions we posed, and we will be exploring our options with our lawyers in the days ahead. And let me assure you we will put the interests of dentists first.

“The GDC has chosen to publish its response to our legal challenge. Members of the profession are entitled to a complete picture, and in the spirit of transparency we are publishing the full correspondence between our lawyers and the GDC.

“Its response took 18 days and takes up seven pages. Dentists can judge for themselves if it has provided the answers we require.”

The GDC has revealed that it has already received 4,000 individual submissions to the consultation to date. The regulator has set aside two weeks from the end of the consultation on 4 September to consider these response ahead of a final decision on 18 September.

Dr Armstong said: “The GDC has left barely a fortnight to weigh up the views and evidence from thousands. Again we will leave it to dentists to draw their own conclusions.”

To read the BDA’s initial letter to the GDC on 24 July, click here.

To read the GDC’s response to the BDA on 12 August, click here.

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