At the General Dental Council meeting held on Wednesday 5 March, it was agreed that the Council should establish an office in Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland and Wales.
Members authorised the Finance and HR Committee to sanction up to an additional £100,000 if needed for this purpose during 2008 and noted that a business case would be presented to the Finance and HR Committee.
Further, the principle of the Council establishing a presence in the form of basing employees in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has been considered as part of the annual budget setting process. From 2009 onwards there is £450,000 pa allocated for this purpose in the three-year forecast that the Council considered in September 2007.
At present the exact nature of the role, seniority and numbers of staff is under consideration and work on this is continuing. However to be effective and have credibility it is expected that a locally-based, lead individual will operate at a senior level.
It has been established that the nature of the work means that the priority is to enhance effective stakeholder engagement by the GDC presence rather than the relocation of part of its operations to each location.