Dentists across England must resist the bullying tactics of Primary Care Trust dental commissioning staff, British Dental Association (BDA) General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC) Chair Dr John Milne has urged.
Speaking at the 2012 Conference of Local Dental Committees (LDCs), Dr Milne told delegates that he was appalled at suggestions that some PCTs were challenging perfectly acceptable treatment patterns in an attempt to claw back money, using a veiled threat that practitioners might be referred to the General Dental Council as a stick with which to beat them. Dentists who find they face such threats, Dr Milne added, must report the situation to the BDA so that this unnecessarily aggressive stance can be resisted.
Dr Milne also, though, reiterated the responsibility that all dentists have to practise professionally and ethically, warning that the small numbers of practitioners who make inappropriate claims are creating problems for the vast majority of the profession that does the right thing.
Dr Milne said:
“We have heard from practitioners working in a number of primary care trust areas that commissioning staff are adopting an unreasonable, bullying stance towards dentists with the motive of clawing back money. That is unfair, unhelpful and unacceptable.
“Dentists must not be cowed by such practices. The small number of inappropriate treatment claims that are submitted by practitioners absolutely must be tackled, but they must not be used as an excuse to persecute practitioners who are working professionally, ethically and appropriately.
“GDPC will not accept such actions by PCTs and I urge dentists to inform the BDA if this happens to them.”