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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 Scottish Council meeting: August 2019

BDA Scottish Council met on 15 August. Members expressed concerns that the recent advert for the new Chief Dental Officer effectively precluded independent general practitioners – who represent around 80-90 per cent of the profession – from applying as the post is offered on a secondment basis, requiring a current employment contract. There was also continued frustration about the lengthy waiting lists for paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic, and how the problem could be highlighted to prompt urgent action. 

Members also discussed: progress with the Oral Health Improvement Plan, including the planned introduction of an Oral Health Risk Assessment; the results of a recent BDA Scotland survey, including dentists' concerns about funding and other issues; NHS Boards' responses to a survey of progress in taking forward relevant actions in BDA Scotland's Oral Cancer Action Plan; an update on BDA Indemnity; and support for local Branch and Section events.

Scottish Council will next meet on 12 December.

Pay uplift for dentists in Scotland

The UK-wide Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) published its report on 23 July. The DDRB recommended a 2.5% net uplift for General Dental Practitioners. The UK Government accepted the 2.5% recommendation for dentists in England, and we issued a press release calling on the Scottish Government to: accept the DDRB recommendation; award at least 3% for expenses; introduce the overall pay uplifts as soon as possible; and backdate them to April 2019.

BDA survey of dentists in Scotland

In June, the BDA issued a survey to dentists in Scotland to ask for their views on a range of issues, including:

  • Oral health / aspects of the Oral Health Improvement Plan
  • Funding for NHS dentistry
  • National leadership
  • General issues – information management systems, pensions
  • Role of the BDA.

The survey aims to ensure the BDA is representing members effectively, and to present the findings to the Scottish Government as evidence of dentists' concerns.  The survey closed on 25 July.

Scottish Council Oral Cancer Working Group

Following the launch of our Oral Cancer Action Plan in November 2018, BDA Scotland wrote to the Director of Dentistry in each NHS Board in May 2019 to follow up the actions for Boards in the Plan to assess how they are taking forward, or plan to take forward these actions. The survey may also help to identify examples of good practice.
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.

Quality Improvement – new arrangements

In early July, the Scottish Government issued new arrangements for quality improvement activities by dentists for the 3-year cycle 2019-22. Year one (2019/20) will comprise a Safety Climate Survey (SCS) at dental practice team level. (The activities for years two and three will be announced in due course). The SCS requires each practice staff member to complete a short online survey on the "safety climate" within the practice. The practice should use the findings from the subsequent report to develop an Action Plan that it will use to generate improvements. Practices will be required to upload evidence from its findings to the NES Portal. The Scottish Government will issue more detailed information about the new arrangements soon.


HPV Vaccine for Boys in Scotland

Earlier this year, the Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport stated that the HPV vaccination programme would be extended to boys later this year, and that the Scottish Government was considering the evidence regarding a catch-up programme.

We raised the issue of a catch-up programme at our meeting with the Minister in June, and following recent media coverage of the vaccination programme, we issued a press release on 9 July calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a catch-up programme for older boys.


BDA Scotland meeting with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing

BDA Scotland staff and the Chairs of Scottish Council and Committees met with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing and Interim Chief Dental Officer on 13 June. The Minister recently assumed portfolio responsibility for dentistry and agreed to meet with BDA representatives at least twice a year.

Various issues were discussed, including: the appointment of a permanent CDO (there is still no definitive timescale for advertising the post); progress with various aspects of the Oral Health Improvement Plan, and how these will be funded; lengthy waiting times for paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic, and how NHS Boards are tackling the issue; and when the HPV vaccination programme for adolescent boys will begin. Attendees also discussed local water fluoridation, and the extent of public scepticism. The Minister agreed to consider evidence about this issue from elsewhere in the UK.


Domiciliary Care: Memorandum to NHS: PCA(D)(2019)9

The memorandum advises of the new arrangements being introduced for the provision of enhanced skills in domiciliary care by domiciliary care dentists to care home residents.

PCA(D)(2019)9 - Dentists with Enhanced Skills in Domiciliary Care - Memorandum - 27 June 2019.pdf 


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 date 2019

  • 12 December 2019 at the BDA Scotland office

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 Co-Leads of the Scottish Hospital Dentists Reference Group, 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.

Quorum: Five voting members


Get in touch

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