The BDA has just one decision making body:
the board. The board is a group of 15 people, who set the policy and strategic direction of the BDA and are directly elected by members.
The board seeks to balance the competing interests of what is right for the Association with what is right for individual members, and what is right for the profession.
Meet our current board members.
Representation of members is provided by Country Councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their job is to consider and advise the PEC on all matters relating to dentistry in the country concerned, and to liaise with branches and sections. Members of country councils are elected from the branches, and they are the ‘voice’ of members to the board.
The representatives in all the country councils meet together as the United Kingdom (UK) Council, to discuss matters of common concern. The UK Council also has an important role on behalf of members in holding the board to account on behalf of members.
Its focus this year has been the effect of the pandemic on all the different branches of dentistry, including issues of PPE, infection prevention and control and now vaccines and the recovery process. Its other priority is to ensure that members are supported through the branches and sections network.
Proud moments for Welsh Council include influencing the Welsh Government to produce a new apprenticeship framework for dental nurse training. Council also gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly Welsh Language and Communications Committee about the NHS Welsh Language in Primary Care Regulations (2019).
Northern Ireland Council
Recent successes for the Northern Ireland Council include championing oral health improvement and making the case for a new oral health strategy plus leading work to prioritise how dentistry is administered within Department of Health and lobbying for support for dentists’ wellbeing.
Scottish Council members developed an Oral Cancer campaign, including publication of an Oral Cancer Action Plan, and followed up its recommendations. It also surveyed all NHS Boards on local waiting lists for paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic, and Boards’ plans to address the issue.
The Craft committees also play an important role in representing the interests and concerns of colleagues in constituent parts of the profession. Read more on how governance and representation works in the BDA and Memorandum and Articles of Association of the British Dental Association with By Laws.
General Dental Practice
General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC)
The GDPC is recognised by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England as the negotiating representative body for GDPs.
It represents general dental practitioners in both NHS and private practice across the UK. It deals with a wide range of issues facing practice owners and associates such as dental contract reform, NHS contracts and commissioning, Integrated Care Systems, GDP pay, the CQC, Dental Assurance Reviews, private practice and many other issues.
We encourage committee members to participate not just in the committee they’re elected to, but in others so that the thoughts and views of dentists are integrated. This avoids a siloed approach to strategy and policy development. By volunteering elsewhere once elected it gives members an opportunity to broaden their experience and ability to influence.
- Securing protection on NHS incomes during the first coronavirus lockdown
- Securing a commitment to restarting the dental system reform process.
Welsh General Dental Practice Committee (WGDPC)
WGDPC has authority to negotiate the NHS general dental services contract and ongoing variations to it, such as occurred with the pandemic when UDAs and UOAs were suspended. Prior to that it had extensive input to Welsh Government's contract reform project and had called for UDAs to be abolished during the Welsh Assembly Inquiry into Dentistry in 2018.
Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee (NIDPC)
NIDPC is the voice of GDPs in ongoing negotiations with Department of Health.
- Negotiated Financial Support Scheme (FSS) arrangements with Department of Health and PPE support
- It is making the case for a new GDS contract to make Health Service dentistry financially sustainable.
- It secured £1.5m Patient Throughput Scheme ventilation grant funding; £2m extra for PPE plus ongoing
FSS support to keep practices afloat. It secured multiple evidence sessions with the Assembly and dealings with MLAs to be the voice of dentistry, and works closely with LDCs to highlight issues.
Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC)
The Scottish Dental Practice Committee represents all non-salaried general dental practitioners in Scotland practising in the NHS and/or privately.
SDPC negotiates with NHS Boards, the Scottish Government and other appropriate bodies on matters relating to the delivery and remuneration of dental services provided by non-salaried general dental practitioners.
- SDPC secured funding for the viability of NHS dentistry through in-depth discussions and negotiations with the Scottish Government. The Covid package confirmed 80% of the average income from items of service and patient contributions. This offered dentists the reassurance they needed and allowed their practices to remain viable - ensuring the sustainability of NHS dentistry in Scotland.
As a result of our intervention, general dental practitioners (GDPs) in Scotland who have a second child in quick succession are now able to claim more maternity pay than had previously been the case. The change in maternity payments for GDPs took effect on 1 March 2020 and followed a decision announced by the Scottish Government that previous maternity payments would count towards the test period (i.e. 12 months) earnings when calculating subsequent maternity payments. This means that GDPs do not lose out financially to the same extent as they may have done previously when having children close together.
The Armed Forces Committee is made up of dentists who are serving officers, with representatives from Civilian Dental Practitioners. The key role of the Committee is submitting evidence to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB), which recommends pay increases to the government in relation to the armed forces.
The Committee has a track record of ensuring that the issues of armed forces dentists are heard in the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence. It is currently working on ensuring that members do not have to repay bonus payments that were seeking to be reclaimed by the Ministry of Defence.
Hospital Dental Services
Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services
The Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services represents trainee, SAS and consultant groups on issues affecting dental staff working in hospitals on dental and medical terms and conditions and all issues impacting the Hospital Dental Service more widely.
The Committee recently managed a SAS contracts referendum, where members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new contracts and has organised a series of successful Hospital Dental Service webinars.
Dental Public Health
The Dental Public Health Committee is the voice of dental public health consultants and focuses on terms and conditions but is looking to extend its remit into wider public health issues.
The Committee was involved in establishing the clinical ringfence for dental public health consultants and is currently fully engaged in ensuring BDA members are protected during the current re-organisation of the Public Health services in England.
The immediate former Chair of the Committee, Anna Ireland, has just been appointed the Dental Public Health lead at Public Health England (which will transition to the Office for Health Promotion).
Community Dental Services
Salaried service dentists work hard to ensure that the salaried primary dental care service terms and conditions of service are right and that issues like appraisals throughout the pandemic are proportionate.
Since 2019 the key issues have been dental fines and the unacceptable waits for treatment under General Anaesthetic for our vulnerable child and adult patients. The committee has been pushing the Secretary of State to act and it brought together MENCAP and several other dental organisations to highlight the scale of the issue to Government and NHS England. The pandemic has meant that the Public Accounts Committee recommendations on fines has been paused but it continues to raise this issue as we come out of the pandemic.
Oral health inequalities are a key concern and the committee input to the successful ‘Designed to Smile’ programme.
It made the case for better working conditions in the pandemic UDCs and gave evidence in 2020 to the Senedd Health Committee inquiry to the pandemic response.
Northern Ireland’s Community Dentists Committee represents the interests of around 90 (approx) community dentists in Northern Ireland.
Following on from successfully having the new CDS contract introduced and fully embedded, this committee continues to advance the interests of CDS dentists.
It lobbied for an enhanced payment rate for additional hours worked during COVID and continues to call for a CDS Workforce Review.
Scottish Public Dental Service Committee (SPDSC)
SPDSC represents salaried dentists working in NHS Primary Care Dental Services in Scotland, addressing all matters arising under Scottish Government health legislation affecting salaried dentists excluding those employed on hospital medical and dental conditions of service.
- Following concerns about the future of the PDS in Scotland and ongoing funding cuts, SPDSC achieved assurance from Scottish Government that the 2020/21 PDS budget would at least match the 2019/20 funding to ensure the PDS had sufficient capacity to meet patient demand.
SPDSC has for a long time expressed concern about the lengthy waiting times for routine paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic in Scotland. During the pandemic this problem has increased, meaning that there is now a huge backlog of unmet dental care need and it could be many months (perhaps years) before this backlog is cleared. SPDSC continues to urge Scottish Government to work with NHS Boards to find a solution.
Each year we provide evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body on pay and for 2021/22 we have achieved pay parity of 3% on clinical academic pay scales in England, Wales and Scotland with NHS colleagues. We have raised the concerns about the dental academic workforce through the HENSE workstreams and we are chasing the Dental Schools Council to update its 2018 dental academic staffing report.
- We are currently working on the issues surrounding the proposed changes to the University Superannuation Scheme pension affecting our members
- We work closely with the BMA Medical Academic Staff Committee on areas affecting clinical academia in medicine and dentistry
- We provide responses to the Government on behalf of dental academia.
Currently the Dental Academic Reference Group represents the interests of dental academics across the UK. Given the changes in the academic workforce in recent years, the new committee seeks to engage dental academics and educators across the workforce who work on university contracts providing teaching, research and NHS provision in dental schools and in (dental) hospital departments.