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News / January 17, 2018

New chair of Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee

by Guy Hiscott

Richard Graham has been elected chair of the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee (NI DPC). Susan Nelson and Derek Manson have also been elected to serve as the Committee’s vice chairs.

Richard is a GDP and has worked in general dental practice for more than 30 years. A long-standing member of NI DPC, he has extensive experience representing the profession.

He has been NI DPC vice chair for six years, BDA NI Council vice chair and was BDA NI branch president in 2010.

Accepting the position, Richard Graham said: ‘I am honoured and privileged to be elected chair of the NI Dental Practice Committee. This is a pivotal time for dentistry and the challenges facing dentists have never been greater.’

Moving forwards

Richard continued to express the interests of the Committee going forward, adding: ‘As a Committee, we will continue to argue for government to recognise the rising costs and complexity involved in providing safe, quality dental care. The ongoing pay restraint, which has seen all general dental practitioners’ incomes fall by over a quarter since 2008, is unsustainable.

‘The disproportionate rise in expenses cannot continue to go unrecognised. This inevitably affects dentists’ ability to care for the nation’s oral health, at a time when demand for dentistry is high. It’s time for real investment in oral health.

‘NI DPC remains committed to a new contract for general dental services and we await the findings of an evaluation of the pilots which will inform future negotiations. We will work constructively with the Department to ensure that the development and introduction of a new dental contract is tailored to the needs of patients, practices and dental staff in Northern Ireland.’

The Committee

The BDA Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee represents the interests, and acts on behalf of all general dental practitioners in Northern Ireland practising in the health service and/or privately.

The Committee is recognised by the government as having the status and authority to negotiate on behalf of the dental profession on matters of terms and conditions of service and remuneration in the general dental services.