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The Most Important Job

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 06/09/18 18:00



As dentists, we’re all tired, complaining about the actions, behaviour and attitude of an overbearing regulator.

It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the atmosphere and culture has changed somewhat, but not (imho) to a large enough degree to gain the conference of the profession once again. 

This ‘difficult’ relationship with our regulator began in June 2014 when Dr William Moyes addressed the FGDP as their guest lecturer to provide the Malcolm Pendlebury memorial lecture.

Interestingly the whole transcript of that lecture, in all its horribleness used to be available with a simple search on Google (I have a PDF copy) but now if you search ‘William Moyes Malcolm Pendlebury memorial lecture’ a message comes up at the bottom of the search to say that some results may have been removed under the data protection law in Europe? 

It’s clear that the professions relationship with our esteemed GDC Chair is, at best, strained.

The culture of an organisation and therefore its ongoing actions are always, always, always dictated by the person at the top, and the person at the top of the GDC for the past 5 years has certainly installed a culture.

It is one of the most, if not the most, important jobs in dentistry. Not only for its protection of the public, but also for its ability to engage constructively or to utter alienate the profession as a whole.

It’s seems that time may be ticking for William Moyes and it may well be that his 10 years is up at the start of 2019 (there is some discussion about his turn of office and when it should end, but it is suspected by many that it’s a 2x 3-year office although this could be corrected).

Either way, it doesn’t matter. In a matter of months we will be considering our placement for the Chair of the General Dental Council and what, if anything, could be more important to dentistry at the moment.

Now, more than ever, it’s time for everyone to speak up for what they would like in this, the most important of jobs.

Ever since the start of my ‘interest’ in this situation it was clear that the Chairman of the General Dental Council needed to be a dentist.

The medics and have a medic, the nurses have a nurse and the physiotherapists a have a physiotherapist.

Why are we the only healthcare regulator to have a banker?

At the time of his appointment this was clearly a politically motivated decision as we needed to be brought back into line, it’s now time for us to push back and insist with whatever leverage we have on the appointment of a dentally qualified Chair of the General Dental Council.

Why is that so important?

This is not an opportunity for the profession to appoint one of its own, to ‘close ranks’, it’s the opportunity to appoint a strong dental personality who is happy to execute, at will, people who should not be in the profession and to use it solely for their own financial gain.

It is the opportunity to work with agencies in dentistry to raise standards for greater protection of the public, also to protect long standing ethical dentists and to encourage them to have long and caring careers where they contribute to the improvement of healthcare as much as possible.

This will never happen while we’re terrified of the GDC, where we fear that a single complaint could stop us working for the rest of our lives and where no one will be an expert.

So, it’s time for the BDA, the FDGP, the Royal Colleges and for every professional organisation and dentist to take responsibility and shout as loud as possible about this.

If not now… then when? And if not you… then who?


Blog post number: 1757 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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