As I write, the news headlines are full of threats of blizzards and arctic temperatures – they call it the Beast from the East – so far, it's more like a flurry from Surrey. However, we are all noticing the days starting to get longer with Spring around the corner – June will be upon us soon enough.
Chair‐elect, Vijay Sudra and I visited the Europa Hotel a couple of weeks ago to get a look at the facilities on offer. Fiona Feltham from BDA events team was impressed with how well the hotel would accommodate us so that we can make sure it is a truly great meeting, and the food wasn't half bad either!
Registration for Conference opened some weeks ago and it is interesting to note that some LDCs which have not attended for some years were among the first to say they were joining us in Belfast. There's still time to book your place - do it now!
It is also heartening that enquiries are being made by some LDCs who wish to bring extra observers – answering our call to encourage younger colleagues to attend and get a taste of Conference experience. I also attended the recent BDA Young Dentists Committee meeting, and made a plea for their help in encouraging the younger generation to get more engaged in dental politics.
Got something to say at Conference? Submit a motion
Conference motions are beginning to be received. These form the backbone of proceedings and the associated debates are a barometer of the strength of feeling from the grass‐roots of the profession.
They are a direct influence on the policies of the General Dental Practice Committe who negotiate on our behalf.
Are the prototypes fit for purpose to deserve a further roll‐out? Has anyone got an alternative to the Prototype UDA? Do the changing rules on amalgam in July require further clarification/negotiation? What needs to change with regard to future recruitment issues? Brexit? Regulators and regulation?
To get a flavour of what was proposed and debated at last year's Conference, watch the footage online. Can you do better? Come along and show us!
Do you know of a colleague who has quietly gone about their business making a difference for their colleagues or patients? Nominations for the Unsung Hero Award are being taken – again see the Conference website for details.
Contract reform will form a major part of the agenda and just maybe the Prototype Evaluation Report, promised last Autumn, might have been published.
Are access and Prototype UDAs suitable components for a reformed contract. What happened to prevention and quality of patient care?
I am hoping to have all four CDOs take part in a debate discussing the effects of devolution on dental care. Responsibility for health and social care has been devolved to Greater Manchester and with the possibility that the experiment be extended elsewhere, what can we learn from those already devolved governments? Could this mean an end to the national dental contract?
It's not all work...
Following a request from like‐minded colleagues that we consider a pre‐conference round of golf, I have arranged tee times from 1120 to 1200 on Wednesday 6 June at Malone Golf Club. It is a championship course situated in the south west of the city. We have a few spaces left if anyone wishes to join us – please get in touch asap.
A number of colleagues have indicated that could be an opportunity for partners to join them after the Conference and stay the weekend.
Why not decompress and take a trip up to the Giant's Causeway and tour the north Antrim coast? It's truly stunning. You could also catch the Red Bus Tour and experience some of Belfast's recent history or visit the Titanic Museum and the SS Nomadic – the tender which took passengers onto the Titanic and its sister ship, the Olympic and the only remaining vessel of the White Star Line - check out the Visit Belfast website.
And keep up to date with us on Twitter @LDCConference
LDC Conference Chair 2018
LDC Conference 2018
Local Dental Committees (LDCs) represent the profession locally. They discuss service configuration and commissioning, NHS management of service providers, practice staffing, workforce planning, dental education and regulations and regulatory changes, all of which have a local impact, often in different ways in different areas.
LDC Conference 2018 is taking place in Belfast from 7-8 June 2018 at the Europa Hotel, Belfast - book online.