Hello readers and welcome to this week’s newsletter. There’s only one topic we need to talk about this week. So let’s start with a series of quotes.
Evlynne Gilvarry, Health Select Committee Accountability Hearing, March 2015: “We struggled—I make no bones about it—under that weight. We are catching up fast. We are learning an awful lot. We had a tough year last year. We had to go to the profession for additional money to fund the extra work. We have come through that. We have learned a lot of lessons and they are not lessons that are going to remain on the shelf.”
Mick Armstrong, BDA Chair, June 2015: “Yet again, GDC registrants must acknowledge that they are being regulated by the worst health regulator in the UK. What is worse is that, as far as dentists are concerned, it is now the most expensive by a country mile… It is difficult to understand how badly the GDC has to perform before someone actually intervenes.”
PSA Report, June 2015: “11.24 Due to the number and seriousness of errors… 11.31 We had concerns about a failure… 11.58 The findings of 2014 indicate a decline quality…”
GDC Statement, November 2015: “Evlynne has led the GDC through a time of substantial change. She has overseen a significant modernisation of the GDC’s systems and processes, equipping it to manage a very substantial growth in workload. She has developed collaborative working practices with key stakeholders, aimed at improving dental regulation and preventing duplication.”
Anyone see a contrast here? Is the truth of the matter with one or the other, or somewhere in between?
In case you hadn’t heard, Evlynne Gilvarry announced her intention to step down from her position as Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Dental Council this week after five years in the role.
She leaves behind a divided narrative to say the least. The GDC’s version is that they had a firm hand trying to steady a wavering ship for the last few years and she’d done her admirable best in the process. She will leave behind a legacy of progress that patients and the profession alike will benefit from in the coming years.
Many in the profession, though, will tell a different story and, in the face of the evidence, it’s compelling and difficult to ignore. So whether she has come to this decision with a true desire to move on to pastures new, or simply to abandon said ship while its teetering on the brink, the GDC will have a new Chief Exec very soon. The process is apparently already under way. Whether it had anything to do with the pressure applied by the BDA in recent times is almost impossible to know for sure.
The question now becomes: what now for the dental profession? Will someone new come in and improve matters? Could they possibly do worse in the eyes of registrants? The plot certainly has thickened.
Where do you think the next step lies for the Brave New World of professional dental regulation in the UK. Comment below or send us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time