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Scottish Council

The Scottish Council is the overarching committee in Scotland consisting of representatives from the Scottish ‘craft committees’ which advises the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee (PEC) on all matters relating to dentistry in Scotland, and liaises with BDA branches and sections.

What does the Scottish Council do?

The Scottish Council considers all matters relating to dentistry, excepting those issues covered by the granting of delegated powers to the Scottish Dental Practice Committee and the Scottish Public Dental Services Committee, and to deal with all such matters in conformity with the decisions of the Principal Executive Committee.

Member Updates

BDA Scotland meeting with Interim Directors of Dentistry: April 2019

The OHIP included a commitment to establish a Director of Dentistry (DoD) in each NHS Board. The DoDs are expected to ensure a more strategic approach primary and secondary care service planning and oral health improvement within each Board. All Boards have appointed an interim DoD, and BDA Scotland staff and the Chairs of the BDA Scotland committees held an informal introductory meeting with eight of the interim DoDs on 10 April. The aim of the meeting was to work towards building an effective working relationship and strong communication links between the BDA and interim DoDs. 

The meeting was informative and issues discussed included: the roles and responsibilities of the interim DoDs; timescales for the recruitment of substantive DoDs; funding for the roles; and DODs' links within NHS Boards and with Scottish Government. The initial five priorities of the OHIP were also discussed, and the various actions in Phase 2 of the Plan. It was agreed that good communication was essential between the DoDs, Scottish Government, the BDA, and the dental profession and that the meeting had been a useful forum for sharing information and views.  

A further meeting will be arranged in the autumn when the substantive DoDs have been appointed.

BDA Scotland Oral Cancer Working Group meeting: April 2019

BDA Scotland's Oral Cancer Working Group met by teleconference on 17 April to review developments since the launch of our Oral Cancer Action Plan in November 2018, and to discuss next steps. Since November, BDA Scotland has engaged with MSPs to promote the messages in our Plan, including Parliamentary Questions on the HPV vaccination programme for boys, and drafting a blog by Mark McDonald MSP (Independent) on the importance of early detection. BDA Scotland plans to build on its recent political activities to ensure our messages around oral cancer remain prominent. The Group also agreed to: issue a survey to NHS Boards to assess their progress in implementing various actions in the Plan; clarify the Scottish Government's plans for introducing an effective and consistent referral pathway; and liaise with third sector organisations receiving funding from the Scottish Government's Community Challenge Fund to help tackle health inequalities.
BDA Scotland published a blog on 30 April 2019 from Mark McDonald MSP giving a very personal account on how oral cancer affected his family and the improtance of early detection.

BDA Scottish Council meeting: March 2019

BDA Scottish Council met on 21 March. Tom Scott (Director, Fitness to Practice, GDC) gave a presentation on: progress with the GDC's End-to-End review; the GDC's latest operational performance data; and the GDC's strategic priorities for 2019. Members had a number of queries about the continued underperformance of KPIs, timescales for progressing cases (and the subsequent pressure on practitioners), local resolution of cases, and referrals of dentists to the GDC by other dentists. Members also discussed: concerns about the long delay in appointing a permanent CDO; how to engage effectively with the Interim CDO and Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing; and how the Oral Health Improvement Plan (OHIP) will be funded. Council agreed to calculate a broad estimate of how much it will cost to implement the initial OHIP actions, and to survey dentists in Scotland to gauge their concerns and priorities. This will help to steer the work of Scottish Council and committees, and to highlight dentists' concerns to Scottish Government. Other issues discussed included: broadening the representation of BDA committees; the forthcoming DDRB review; and recent Health and Science Committee discussions of dental recall intervals and the effectiveness of scale and polish treatments.

BDA Scotland – Scottish Government Business Liaison meeting: March 2019

BDA Scotland Secretariat staff met with officials from the Scottish Government's Chief Dental Officer and Dentistry Division on Tuesday 12 March. These meetings have been arranged to improve communication between the two teams and to help resolve or progress various outstanding actions relating to GDS issues. These included: an update on the initial phases of the Oral Health Improvement Plan; the removal of dentistry from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport's portfolio to the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing; forthcoming joint BDA Scotland - Scottish Government surveys of dental nurse vacancies and GDS expenses; Hepatitis B vaccinations for dental nurses; and Scottish Government's commitment to review revised fees for resin restorations in summer 2019. Scottish Government will provide contact information to BDA Scotland in relation to how the sugar tax revenue has been used.

The two teams agreed to meet again in in late spring to continue the constructive dialogue and progress relevant issues.

HPV Vaccine for Boys in Scotland

Scottish Government has announced it will implement a HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination programme for boys following a report from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Scottish Government has confirmed that it plans to extend the programm to boys later this year and that they are currently giving due consideration to the available evidence regarding any catch up programme.

Scottish Obesity Alliance 

BDA Scotland Director Phil Grigor attended the first meeting of the Scottish Obesity Alliance Coordinating Group on 5 March 2019. The Alliance was formally established in December 2018, and the BDA joined in January 2019. The group discussed the Alliance's priorities for its first year across various themes: protecting our children; making healthy choices easy; and creating healthy environments. A draft action plan will be developed following the discussions, and the group will discuss further at its next meeting on 21 May.

BDA Honours and Awards

The closing date for the next round of BDA Honours and Awards applications is 31 May 2019.

​Scottish Council Constitution 


To consider all matters relating to dentistry, excepting those issues covered by the granting of delegated powers to the Scottish Dental Practice Committee and the Scottish Public Dental Service Committee, and to deal with all such matters in conformity with the decisions of the Principal Executive Committee.

Voting members

Three members from each of the three BDA Scottish Branches directly elected by members.

The Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Scottish Committee for Hospital Dental Services, the Scottish Dental Practice Committee and the Scottish Public Dental Service Committee (provided that they are members of the Association). Should the Chair and Vice Chair from any of these committees not be a BDA member, those committees can elect a BDA member to represent the committee on Scottish Council from its voting members.

In the case of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee a member would be elected from their Executive Sub-Committee.

One representative of the Central Committee for Dental Academic Staff and one further member elected by the Scottish Dental Practice Committee. 

Non-voting members

The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Principal Executive Committee.

One member of the Principal Executive Committee elected from Scotland.

One representative from the Young Dentists Committee.

One representative of the Scottish Staff, Associate Specialist and Specialty Doctors  from the Scottish Committee for Hospital Dental Services.

Up to two co-opted members as and when required.

Should a Scottish Council member not attend for two consecutive meetings, taking into account the individual circumstances of the member, it will be at the discretion of the committee whether the member will continue to be a Scottish Council member.


Five voting members


Scottish Council Representatives

The Scottish Council members for 2018-2020 are:


East Branch representatives

Nick Baker, Edinburgh
Colwyn Jones, Edinburgh


North Branch representatives
Robert Donald, Nairn, Chair of Scottish Council
Carly Fraser, Aberdeen


West Branch representatives

David Cross, Glasgow, Vice-Chair of Scottish Council
Robin MacDougall, Glasgow


Scottish Dental Practice Committee representatives

David McColl, Glasgow, Chair
Gerard Boyle, Glasgow, Vice-Chair
John Glen, Cowdenbeath


Scottish Hospital Dentists Reference Group

Manar Elkhazindar, Inverness
Laura Cross, Glasgow


SPDSC Representatives

Graham Smith, Isle of Syke, Chair
Kate Wiseman, Glasgow. Vice-Chair


Clinical Academic Reference Group

Simon Shepherd, Dundee Dental School


Representative of Scottish Staff, Associate Specialist and Specialty Doctors

John Hoayun

Young Dentist Committee Representative

Hamzah Ahmed


One member of the Principal Executive Committee elected by members in Scotland

Derek Harper, Kirkcaldy

Principal Executive Committee Members

Mick Armstong, Chair of the PEC 
Eddie Crouch, Deputy Chair of the PEC

Meeting dates 2019

  • 15 August 2019 at the BDA Scotland office
  • 12 December 2019 at the BDA Scotland office

Agendas and reports for previous meetings of Scottish Council:

Get in touch

For more information, please get in touch with the committee Secretary Elaine Bruce.