BDA critical of rise in annual retention fee

THE BDA has expressed its alarm over GDC plans for a 64 per cent rise in the annual retention fee (ARF) for dentists.

The proposed fee rise would see dentists paying £945 instead of the current £576 per year. The GDC has launched a consultation into the ARF due to run until 4 September and is asking for views from registrants and the wider dental sector.

Chair of the British Dental Association’s Principal Executive Committee, Mick Armstrong, called the rise "wholly unacceptable" in a recent meeting with GDC leaders, especially coming on the back of a critical Professional Standards Authority (PSA) report on the regulator.

Dr Armstrong said: "The suggestion that the profession pay more to fund a Council that has been shown unable to do its job properly is frankly astonishing. The rise would be unpalatable at the best of times but it now appears that the profession is being asked to foot the bill for failure."

In a statement the BDA has called the scale of the rise unprecedented and at odds with the actions of all other regulators. It said the GDC must investigate the underlying reasons for the "significant" increase in complaints about dental registrants and work with the profession to determine the cause rather than raising the ARF by nearly two-thirds.

The BDA said it will be raising its concerns with the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

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