GDC rejects Lord Hunt’s call for board to resign


Bill Moyes says Lord Hunt has been badly briefed when he asked for the GDC boards’ resignation

Bill Moyes responds to Lord Hunt’s calls for the boards’ resignation, after the GDC was discussed in the House of Lords.

Discussing the PSA’s lack of confidence in the General Dental Council (GDC), Lord Hunt explained: ‘I understand that the chief executive has resigned but no one else on the board seems prepared to take responsibility for a culture that has clearly lasted over a good many years.

‘That is not acceptable.’

Speaking for the launch of the General Dental Council’s road map for 2016-2019, Bill Moyes, chair of the GDC, told ‘We think he (Lord Hunt) is badly briefed, because actually quite a lot of the events that the PSA has been dealing with happened before this council was appointed.

‘I’m going to be writing to Lord Hunt and pointing out that some of the briefing he got was maybe not as accurate as it might have been.

‘Over the last two years we have done a lot to change and our performance is visibly improving.

‘The data’s not all in the public domain yet, but I’m confident when it gets in people will be surprised at the scale of improvement achieved.’

GDC’s remit

Concerns have been raised by the British Dental Association (BDA) over the GDC extending its remit.

The General Dental Council (GDC) has proposed to have a role in ‘improving the quality of dental care’, to extend the role of the Dental Complaints Service (DCS), to consider the development of ‘quality metrics’ in dentistry, and to ‘enable patients to find out more about their dental professionals from the register’.

Whilst discussing the launch of the GDC’s road map, questioned Bill Moyes on this.

‘I don’t personally accept the argument that our remit is confused,’ Bill Moyes said.

‘The legislation is pretty clear, our first duty is to protect patients.

‘We’re also meant to maintain the standing of the dental profession, which we interpret as meaning that we have to weed out people who are not doing good dentistry and try to help them.

‘We have to set standards, we have to inspect education establishments, like all public bodies we have to run ourselves efficiently, economically and effectively.

‘If you asked me to write down our remit, that’s the kind of thing I’d write down.

‘I think the more difficult issue is, as public expectation is changing, and as the dental profession is changing in its structure, what do these big statements about our remit mean in practise.

‘And I think that’s what this document (the General Dental Council’s road map for 2016-2019) is starting to try to develop.

‘You can’t protect patients really without talking to patients.

‘The word protect can mean different things to different people.

‘What we’re trying to say in this document is, we think the remit’s clear enough, it’s laid down in legislation and is not going to change, but the meaning of what the remit is in practise needs to be explored in much more detail.’

One comment

  1. 1

    Bill Moyes has a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, and entered the fast-stream of the UK Civil Service in 1974. His 20 year career in the Civil Service was spent mainly in policy-making roles in Whitehall, following which he joined another success story, the Bank of Scotland Group, rising to Head of Infrastructure Finance. In 2000 he became Director General of the British Retail Consortium. From 2004 – 2010 he was the founding executive chairman of Monitor which authorises and allegedly regulates finances and governance in foundation trusts which remain in financial crisis.

    In the Mid Staffs Public Inquiry the lead medical investigator at the trust, Dr Heather Wood, said Bill had a tendency to discount patients’ evidence as “anecdotal”. Indeed, in one of Bill Moyes’ private letters, he writes about the use of evidence from “staff, patients and relatives.” He doesn’t think much of them. He says, “it is not clear the people making these comments were qualified to reach these judgements, or that any independent corroborations was [sic] obtained. As such these opinions are likely to be hearsay….”

    Delightful stuff for the grieving relatives and the patients who had been left in their own faeces. Later in the same letter Bill goes on to say he would take “particular” account of “the work that PWC has been doing at the trust.” It turns out that before Mid Staffs was exposed, PWC has been hired to do a parallel investigation before the Healthcare Commission.

    So why would Bill favour the private sector in making judgements on cleaners, wards, and avoidable deaths? Before coming to Monitor, Dr Moyes worked for the Bank of Scotland in the early and heady days of PFI. He is listed as the director of various PFI hospital projects around the country under the Catalyst Brand. The same company was behind the PFI for the Queen’s Hospital in Romford Essex which is advertised as being “more akin to a hotel than a hospital” with “clinical and aesthetic values”. The “hotel hospital” hasn’t really worked out for patients, and last year trust the Audit Commission issued a public interest notice against the trust. The trust is paying £20million a year to the PFI company at an interest rate of 4.6 %.

    When Dr Moyes came to regulate hospitals, he gave up all his directorships in Catalyst companies. When Dr Moyes was asked if he still held shares or received income from his PFI ventures, a lawyers’ letter was received. It claimed that Dr Moyes at “no point held any shares in any of the SPV’s in question nor did he benefit personally in any way from any profits made by these SPV’s”.

    When we asked if this meant that Dr Moyes had effectively been working as a pro bono banker for these new PFI hospitals no reply was received. However, after a lengthy FOI battle Dr Moyes lunch and dinner list was obtained for his time as regulator of foundation trusts.

    In July 2014, Monitor was criticised by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons (PAC) for the lack of clinical expertise and frontline NHS experience amongst its staff. The PAC noted that: “Only 21 of Monitor’s 337 staff have an NHS operational background and only 7 have a clinical background, which damages Monitor’s credibility in dealing with trusts and its effectiveness in diagnosing problems and developing solutons. The PAC also criticised the proportion of Monitor’s budget spent on external consultants (£9 million of Monitor’s £48 million budget in 2013-14) and found that “some NHS foundation trusts had been allowed to struggle for far too long in breach of of their regulatory conditions. It has taken Monitor too long to help trusts in difficulty to improve, with three trusts having been in breach of their regulatory conditions since 2009”. At the time of the PAC’s hearing, of 147 foundation trusts 39(26%) were expected to be in deficit by the end of 2013-14 and on 31 December 2013 25 (17%) were in breach of the conditions attached to their status. The PAC also noted: “It is wholly inappropriate that the same person acted as both Chair and Chief Executive of Monitor between March 2011 and January 2014. This was contrary to corporate governance good practice and Monitor’s own guidance to NHS foundation trusts”.

    It is clear that Bill Moyes has no experience in dentistry and so was the ideal candidate to head up the GDC.

    Unfortunately his skills in theoretical chemistry have not be transformed into the practical arena and he has only succeeded in bringing dental regulation into disrepute in the eyes of the Professional Standards Authority, Lord Hunt and the entire dental profession.

    It is a case of history repeating itself.

    So should Bill and his colleagues resign – or should they be pushed?

    Well if there has been a beach of Duty of Candour as alleged by the PSA Report and by Lord Hunt in the House of Lords, this is potentially a criminal offence and he may ultimately have no say in this matter.


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