Private practice is in the chair

First congratulations to Martin Fallowfield, Robert Kinloch and Judith Husband on their election to the three principal posts on the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) Principal Executive Committee (PEC).

Once you have cut through the management-speak that surrounds his appointment, Martin will become the voice of the BDA, the voice of the profession. Judging by recent media appearances, he will be a worthy spokesman for us.

His other main responsibility is to ensure ‘the integrity of the business of the BDA’.

As a former chair of the finance committee, he is ideally placed to do this.

Above all, the BDA needs to expand its membership base if it is to speak out forcefully on behalf of the profession. This must be one of Martin’s top priorities.

His background is in private practice rather than the NHS, whereas his predecessors on the senior BDA committees have always been committed to the NHS.

I am sure he doesn’t need my advice to stay well clear of the intricacies of the general dental practitioner contract, UDAs and the like.

That is the domain of the General Dental Practice Committee.

Its chair, John Milne, needs the support of the new PEC, but should be allowed to get on with the job of negotiating with the Department of Health.

Having said that, many think that the relationship between the Department and the BDA is too cosy.

Also, the recent LDC conference expressed their dissatisfaction with many aspects of what is happening to the profession.

The PEC has the ultimate power in Trades Union matters and they need to make sure that the BDA acts and is seen to act to improve the lot of dentists.

Its first challenge make come all the way from the Rio+20 conference where there are moves to ban amalgam worldwide. Good luck Martin. The profession needs you to succeed.

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