About the Federation
Local Dental Committees in London decided as long ago as 1974 that there would be substantial advantages in working together as a Federation.Today the Federation of London LDCs is thriving, seeing its role as of more value and importance than ever. The present member LDCs are Bexley and Greenwich; Brent and Harrow; Bromley, Camden and Islington; Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow; Hillingdon, Kensington Chelsea and Westminster, and Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham, representing dentists in 16 boroughs.
Each of the eight LDCs nominate representatives to the Council of the Federation, which is in effect the management committee. The Council elects its Chairman of Policy, Chairman of Continuing Professional Development, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Political Co-ordinator and other key positions at its Annual General Meeting each April.
As well as supporting the local representative work of each LDC, the Federation arranges regular educational meetings for London dentists, at which the attendance is usually around 300-400, and commercial sponsorship helps to defray the costs of these events.
The aims of the Federation are to:
1To support London Local Dental Committees administratively.
This includes preparing agendas and background papers, attending LDC meetings to take minutes, communicating with LDC members, writing any letters or papers as requested by the LDCs, conducting two-yearly elections, handling financial record-keeping on behalf of LDC treasurers, collecting levies, paying members’ expenses, booking members in to conferences, attending meetings with LDC members to take notes, etc etc etc.
2To assist LDCs with negotiations as requested.
The two secretaries, not having a dental contract, are well placed to offer strong negotiating and advocacy skills on behalf of LDCs in such a way as to avoid any accusation of vested personal interests or conflicts of interest.
3To negotiate and advocate on behalf of dentists throughout the whole of London
The Federation works alongside all LDCs based within NHS London’s catchment area through the London Regional Group of LDCs, which is a separate liaison group, administered by the Federation. In this capacity, regular meetings are held with the Strategic Health Authority, the Department of Health, and London members of parliament.
Through Federation News and with the help of regular emailed updates, dentists within the Federation area are regularly informed of local and national developments, and advice is given about how to comply with the ever-changing regulatory scene.
Local borough-wide meetings of dentists are arranged when local issues demand.
5Providing dental education
The Federation is authorised to arrange verifiable continuing educational training, recognised by the General Dental Council. As well as covering clinical issues, the Federation includes in its syllabus a regular programme of lectures which inform dentists about the ever changing business of dentistry, and how to work effectively within national and local NHS arrangements.
6Advice and advocacyEach day the Federation receives many telephone calls, emails, letters and visits from London dentists, enquiring about all manner of issues. The vast majority of calls are about administrative or managerial or financial aspects of dentistry. Clinical issues are referred to an LDC member.
The Federation staff has training and experience in handling patient complaints, staff H.R. issues, difficulties with BSA schedules, individual GDS and PDS contracts, sales of practices, tendering, “Access contracts” and much besides.
Often, dentists find it helpful to talk over an issue with the LDC informally before putting a case to a PCT or other organisation.
Federation staff is willing to attend meetings with PCT managers alongside dentists, to witness and record discussions, and to be a support and help.
Each LDC is able to carry out its work in a more professional way than probably it could without the support of the Federation, and certainly the Federation has helped each LDC to ensure that its voice is heard and heeded when this has been required.
Individual LDCs find it helpful to learn from the experience of other neighbouring committees, and fresh light is in this way brought to their deliberations. This is particularly valuable when new Health Service initiatives are being set up.
But possibly the main benefit of LDCs belonging to the Federation is the strength of a united voice which is possible through LDCs acting together.
There are around 5000 dentists practising in London.
Strength is to be found in maintaining a united and cohesive voice.
|Chairman (Policy): Dr Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen (Dental Surgeon Copenhagen 1983)|
|Vice Chairman : Dr Nick Patsias BDS Lond 1970; LDSRCS Eng 1970|
|Chairman (Continuing Professional Development) : Dr Anwer R Dhanji, BDS Lond, LDSRCS Eng, DPDS Brist, MFGDP(UK)|
|Treasurer : Dr Peter Frost, BDS Lond; MFGDP(UK)|
|Parliamentary Coordinator: Dr Jerry Asquith BDS (Lond)|
|Richard Thomas AIB, General Secretary|
|Samantha Sparrow, Assistant Secretary|
|Lieza De-Chiara, Part-time Accounts Administrator|
|Rakhi Sharma, Part-time Administrative Assistant|