5 April 2016
BDA: ‘new era’ at GDC comes with £½ million cleaning bill
The British Dental Association (BDA) has issued an open letter to General Dental Council chair Bill Moyes, in response to his recent comment piece: A new era of dental regulation.
The article, published in The Probe in March, contained numerous misrepresentations on the PSA’s whistleblowing inquiry and un-evidenced assertions about the rise of patient complaints.
The BDA has now published figures from a recent Freedom of Information request to the GDC indicating it spent over £¼ million on legal costs during the whistleblowing enquiry. Factoring in the added costs of staffing changes this amounted to a total outlay of over £½ million.
The FOI has also identified £250,000 bill to leading international PR firms, for a wide range of services beyond, including prepping the chair and former Chief Executive for their appearance in front of the Health Select Committee in March 2015.
Mick Armstrong, Chair of the BDA said:
“This profession wants nothing more than an effective and efficient regulator, but that journey will only begin when the GDC can show it is capable of confronting some hard truths. Sadly this recent article revealed its leadership is unwilling to even start down that road.
“The Chair has gone to great lengths to absolve the current Council from the sins of the past. A glance at any calendar shows that the bid is futile, as the PSA inquiry into the handling of the whistleblowing issue fell into the time of the current Council. To suggest that the current Council had nothing to do with this inquiry but simply oversaw the rectification of the problem is a stunning misrepresentation. Given the Council’s own deliberations in public, these feelings may also not be shared by the other Council members.
“Bill Moyes has again demonstrated he would rather spend registrants’ fees on firefighting than acknowledge any error on his part. This half million pound price tag for avoidable legal costs and tokenistic staffing changes is particularly galling, and flies in the face of stated commitments to openness and transparency with the PSA on whistleblowing. The GDC chair clearly wants this profession to believe he has clean hands – and this it seems is the cleaning bill.
“The GDC Chair’s conduct seems less like a new era for regulation, and more business as usual.”