Myself, with LDC Conference Chairs elect, Leah Farrell (2020) and Vijay Sudray (2019)
The Irish Sea did not pose a hurdle in the journey to LDC Conference 2018 in Belfast, and it was great to see a lot more younger members of the profession in attendance this year.
I was pleased to hear that so many really enjoyed the experience, not only of the business in hand, but also that they were able to visit such a welcoming city and the beautiful surrounding countryside that is my home country.
A round-up of LDC Conference 2018
LDC Conference 2018 - Wales' Chief Dental Officer, Collete Bridgman answering delegates questions
In case you missed it:
- Stephen Fayle gave us the evidence for the continuing need for prevention based contract reform.
- Chief Dental Officer (CDO) for Scotland Margie Taylor and Wales' CDO Colette Bridgman highlighted the necessity to work at all levels, from government department through to dental surgery to achieve improvements which are based on the needs of our patients.
- One size does not fit all, but this seems to be the approach in England, and it is clearly not working.
- Though health and social care is already devolved to the four nations of the UK, there are plans to further devolve it throughout England.
- Irrespective of region, oral health faces the challenges of poor diet and vulnerable groups struggling to access dental services. Callum Youngson put it bluntly – why, in this day and age, with the resources we have?
- Michael Donaldson and Ben Squires told us of the need to get the right people together to make the changes required.
- We should be working with each other and not trying to screw the last drop of goodwill out of those at the coal face. But the willingness to do so has got to be there, from the very top down.
We recorded the conference on video and we are in the process of editing it into bite-sized chunks, which should be available on the LDC website soon.
Your burning issues: LDC Conference motions
Motions are the mainstay of LDC Conference, and you spoke up, with over 50 proposals covering a wide range of topics including reform, regulation and recruitment, as well as public health, commissioning and IT issues.
I am always impressed with the quality and passion of the colleagues who stand up to address conference, many who did so for the first time.
We succeeded in getting through 40 of the motions, many more than the previous two conferences, and those which we did not have time to debate will be put forward to the General Dental Practice Committee for their consideration.
What can we improve upon?
Every year LDC Conference grows and develops and next year, I would recommend reducing the number of guest speakers to allow for more debating time.
We really need to continue to encourage more younger dentists to attend, they are the future of our profession and it's essential their voice is heard and they feel engaged, to help us steer the agenda and call for better.
We worked hard this year to ensure a UK-wide focus (not just England), which enables a wide range of colleagues voices be heard, and so that we can also learn from the differing approaches: the good and the bad.
What's coming next? LDC Conference 2019!
So, my year as Conference Chair is now at an end and I am grateful to all those that supported me and helped to ensure the event went smoothly, and I would like to thank everyone who was involved.
I'm handing over to Vijay Sudra, Conference Chair 2019, and I'm confident he will develop a fantastic programme which will be stimulating for delegates and observers, when he invites us to Birmingham next June.
I hope to see you there!
Joe Hendron, Chair
LDC Conference 2018