Local Dental Committees (LDCs) in the UK were set up in 1948, at the inception of the NHS. In England and Wales, provision in statute has been made for them to be recognised and consulted since the NHS Act 1977. Local NHS representatives may consult with LDCs on any matters of local dental interest.
In both Scotland and Norther Ireland no provision is made for LDCs in statute. LDCs in both countries do exist and frequently consult with the health boards for their respective localities.
There are 110 LDCs across the UK.
Who do LDCs represent?
Where they are recognised, LDCs represent dentists with a General Dental Services (GDS) Contract and may represent dentists working under a GDS contract or a Primary Dental Services (PDS) agreement. An LDC may only represent those dentists who are members or who are on an 'NHS Performers List' list at the locality covered by the LDC. LDCs can also represent dentists in the NHS community dental services and other spheres of dental practice, but this must be agreed locally.
Regional Groups and LDC Federations
In England LDC Secretaries and Chairs meet on a regional basis to discuss issues affecting the profession. These Regional Groupings generally reflect Strategic Health Authority (SHA) boundaries. In some areas, LDCs simply group together to share information and support colleagues. In other areas, LDCs federate and share resources, offering a single point of contact.
The BDA's General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC) has regular meetings with regional LDC representatives. The GDPC - LDC Regional Liaison Group is chaired by a member of the GDPC Executive and exists as an information exchange to inform both the work of LDCs locally and the work of GDPC in its national negotiations.
LDCs involved in these groupings find them a very useful way of developing communication across the locality, while maintaining individual LDCs autonomy. The BDA would encourage any LDC that is not currently a member of a regional group to explore joining one for their locality. For information on how to do this please contact Will Newport.
Getting involved in the work of LDCs
Are you a primary care dentist interested in representing colleagues at a local level?
If yes, why not contact your LDC Secretary or the BDA for more information?
For further information on any of the articles contained in the LDC pages, or for the contact details of the LDC secretary in your area please see the LDC Contacts pages of the site or contact Will Newport at the BDA on 020 7563 4158.