Croydon dentists rebel against price rises and patient delays


By - Tuesday 4th November, 2014

Dentists in Croydon and across the UK are opposing plans by the industry regulator, the General Dental Council (GDC), to raise compulsory fees by 64%. Those opposed believe the changes will lead to delays for patients and could force NHS dentists into private practices. Rebelling dentists believe the current chair of the GDC Mr William Moyes doesn’t understand the industry because he is not a dentist himself. A conference to discuss whether a new regulator is required will be held on 5th December.


Release begins: Croydon dentists rebel against regulator to protect NHS patients from longer queues and delays to treatment.

  • Vote of no confidence due against General Dental Council (GDC)
  • Fee increase proposed by GDC ‘will make it harder for patients to access NHS treatment and lead to longer waiting times and delays’
  • Many more NHS dentists may be forced into private practice due to ‘punitive levy’
  • Thousands of dentists across the England & Wales, including in Croydon, are taking part in rebellion to preserve NHS dental services for patients
  • ‘The GDC is more interested in building an empire than protecting patients’ say representatives of the dental community

Croydon dentists are set to rebel against their own regulator, the General Dental Council, to preserve access to NHS dental services for all patients and protect against punitive fee increases.

The General Dental Council has plans to increase its compulsory fees for all dentists by 64%. This move is opposed by 98% of dentists in England and Wales, who fear that the considerable fee increase will lead to reduced access to NHS dental services for patients, as well as driving up the cost of private treatments.

Dentists believe that the significant fee increase proposed by the GDC will have unforeseen consequences. NHS dental clinics could be faced with longer queues and longer waiting times for appointments, while patients might find it more difficult to register as an NHS patient when dentists are forced to focus on private practice to make up the shortfall.

The General Dental Council is equivalent to the General Medical Council, and has been regulating the dental profession since 1956. Dentists argue that the root of the problem is that the General Dental Council is no longer led by a dentist, but by an appointed professional regulator who has no understanding of their profession. The rebelling dentist community aims to remove the Chair of the GDC, Mr William Moyes, from his position.

For the first time in the history of the GDC, a special national conference will be convened to bring together representatives of the wider dental community throughout England and Wales. On the 5th December, the following motion will be debated:

*“This conference believes that the GDC has failed in its role as the regulator for Dentistry and therefore moves that a new model of regulation is sought that will both protect patients and have the support of the dental profession.”*

Jason Wong, spokesperson for the alliance of local dental committees fighting to improve regulation in the industry, said:

“We believe that currently the General Dental Council does not understand the very profession it regulates, and is putting access to dental services at risk. That is why we have taken the exceptional step of calling a special conference to speak up for our patients and protect access to dental services”

“Under its new leadership by people with little or no understanding of the profession, the General Dental Council seems to be more interested in building an empire than protecting patients. The General Dental Council has failed to properly consider the alternative options to this punitive fee increase, such as encouraging more local resolution of disputes, which could save money, maintain services and would be beneficial to our patients.

“A letter issued on behalf of seventy-three Local Dental Committees across the country and six dental societies on the 8th August has only just received a response on the 6th October. We feel that this is contemptible and we are disappointed that this is how a professional regulator would choose to behave.

“As representatives of the dental profession, we call for an independent, full and public review of the General Dental Council examining its recent conduct and the efficiency of its functions.

“Put simply, the current General Dental Council has lost the confidence of the profession it regulates.”

Release ends.

Release sender: Zoe White, PLMR

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  • Stephen Giles

    Just one thing to say – “brush those gums really hard”, and “no sugar between meals”!!

  • Sean Creighton

    Good for the dentists. A large hike in fees will hit those on low incomes particularly hard and lead to more and more people not getting dental treatment – aggravating health and well-being. Croydon dentists involved in the protest are very welcome to come to the Croydon Assembly on 15 November – see my CC posting yesterday.