Three Letter Engagement: MCNs, LDNs and LDCs

Have you ever wondered how you could engage with NHS commissioners and other key decision makers in your area? Well it will be via one of these 3 letter acronyms: LDN, MCN or LDC. But what do they do?



If you see one of my previous posts about the role of NHS England, they have the responsibility to commision dental services. In order to do this, manage contracts and look after patient pathways, the organisation should engage with the profession to make effective decisions which are evidence based. This should be via one of the following organisations.


Local Dental Committees (LDCs)


Hosted by the BDA and funded by the NHS Levy, LDCs were set up in 1948 at the inception of the NHS. There are 110 LDCs across the UK, representing dentists in general dental practices and sometimes primary dental services (such as CDS dentists). 

They can only represent dentists on the NHS performers list within their local area. 

Their roles may be feeding back to their local commissioner issues locally such as waiting times, working on local projects to improve oral health in their area as well as feeding back to national groups such as the national LDC conference or official's day. 

To find out more and how to contact your local LDC, see the BDA website


Managed Clinical Networks (MCNs)


MCNs bring together dentists in a special interest area in primary and secondary care. This varies on each area, but could be an Oral Surgery MCN, Special Care MCN, Emergency Dentistry MCN etc. Similar to LDCs, they aim to engage with commissioners and be an official communication route for a patient pathway. 

To find out more about MCNs, see this BDJ article. 


Local Dental Networks (LDNs)


One of the Local Professional Networks (LPN) where NHS England engages with all groups of dentists in their local areas - there are equivalent groups for opticians and pharmacists. 

Members of the LDN may include (depending on regional variation):
  • Chairs of each of the MCNs in the area
  • Chairs of each of the LDCs in the area
  • Health Education England representative
  • Dental Public Health Consultant
  • NHS England Commissioners 
  • Lay member from local Healthwatch
Membership will be decided locally via the group's Terms of Reference and a chair nominated. This is the hub where information across specialties are spread, issues raised and projects proposed to improve the overall oral health of the area and ensure equal access for their patients. 

There is also a national LDN conference each year where LDN chairs and commissioners come together with the Office of the Chief Dental Office to share information. I will blog about the role of OCDO in a later post! 



Are you a member of any of these groups? Let know in the comments below. 











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2 comments

  1. Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

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