Belfast delegates to debate impact of devolution on dentistry in the NHS

“is this a way of taking the ‘national’ out of our health service?”


The looming crisis in recruiting NHS dentists will be high on the list of hot topics to be debated when the annual conference of Local Dental Committees (LDCs) is held in Belfast next month.

Around 200 delegates at the two-day conference in June will also tackle the need for a level playing field for all dentists competing for NHS contracts.

And there are expected to be calls for the government to commit a portion of the tax raised from sugary drinks to oral health schemes for children and to improve funding of community dental services.

There will also be a timely discussion on whether devolution improves dental care or takes the ‘N’ out of the NHS.

This will include presentations from Michael Donaldson, responsible for commissioning health service dentistry in Northern Ireland, and Ben Squires, who has similar responsibility for Greater Manchester.

Ben will share his experience of DevoManc and where commissioning dentistry fits in the health and social-care framework.

Joe Hendron, chair of the 2018 LDCs conference, said: “Since we’re having our annual conference in Belfast, it seems fitting to look at the impact of devolution on dentistry.

“This is no longer confined to countries, as the government continues to push its traditional responsibilities out to the regions – look at DevoManc.

“Is this a way of taking the ‘national’ out of our health service and blaming the ‘outposts’ if they’re poorly funded by central government, or genuinely the best way of addressing local differences?

“Whatever the answers, I am looking forward to hearing the debates and the first-hand accounts of our expert speakers in dental commissioning.”

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Published: 4 May, 2018 at 13:37