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Posted by on in Simon Thackeray

Having just read the response from the GDC to the BDA’s questions about the Telegraph advert, it would appear that there is a distinct tone of avoiding answering the legitimate questions posed.


Coming from the Chair of the GDC, with his background at the Office of FAIR Trading, this again seems to be at odds with a desire to be open and transparent, and indeed with his recent comments about ‘doing the right thing’.


The admission that the cost of the advertising campaign cost over £27000 should now start a new round of questions to the GDC, since we as registrants are funding this exercise in awareness (the adverts were in Saga Magazine and The Guardian) to a demographic who are largely likely to already know of the mechanisms available to them to complain. In addition, in order to justify any money spent on advertising, this requires some form of review as to its success, so there will be yet more expense following this, otherwise it will have been a total waste of our money. Even if it is reviewed by salaried members of the DCS, whilst doing this pointless analysis, the time spent on this would be better utilised elsewhere.

But more importantly, how would we be treated by the GDC if we avoided answering their questions?  We have a regulator who now seems to run itself by a different set of values to those it expects its registrants to adopt.

Far from allaying any of the concerns of the profession, I feel the response from the chair has once again shown the contempt dentists are held in by the GDC. 

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Posted by on in DentistGoneBadd

Obtaining Patient Consent

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Posted by on in Digital Dentistry
This week, we are publishing a guest blog by Alex from FireCask on how you can improve your online exposure.
Alex is a Director at FireCask, an online marketing and web design company in central 
Manchester. He has written over 10 WordPress plugins attracting over 750,000 downloads, 
speaks at industry events and has written for publications such as The Guardian, Huffington 
Post, Smashing Magazine and Econsultancy. 
I have been working in online marketing for nearly 10 years now. In that time I’ve worked with 
100’s of businesses in all kinds of verticals and helped them get ahead online. Dentists are 
actually in a competitive vertical when it comes to ranking within search engines so it’s important 
to know that your online exposure is improved as much as possible to ensure you get new 
people walking through the door and into the dentist’s chair. 
Tip #1: Write something relevant on your site 
You may have been advised to write on your site’s blog or you may have a company writing blog 
posts on your behalf. One piece of advice is to ensure that the content is of the utmost quality 
rather than content being produced for the sake of publishing content x times per month. As well 
as this make sure your subject matter is relevant and possibly attached to current affairs. 
I’m still unsure why no dentist has taken advantage of the Suarez biting incident. It’s current, 
popular and you have the opportunity to sell yourself whilst using something such as humour as 
your outlet. 
Tip #2: Make sure your Website is user friendly 
Ranking well in Google is great, but it’s only half the battle. Once someone enters your site they 
need to find what they’re looking for whilst you try and make them convert. A conversion for you 
may be as simple as sending you an email, picking up the phone or finding out your location but 
these things need to be easy for the user to do. 
Ensure your website has this information to hand on every page. It’s also important to have your 
site mobile friendly ­ meaning that someone on a mobile (or tablet) device can read and navigate 
through your site just as easily as they would a desktop computer. As someone who wrote the 
chapter on Mobile SEO for Econsultancy, I understand that dentistry is a vertical where the 
majority of people now will view your site on a mobile, and because 2014 is the year that mobile 
use overtakes desktop use for browsing the web, it’s vital to cater for mobile users. 
By the way, we make great websites at FireCask :)
Tip #3: You’re the Authority, not the building you work in 
If I want to research into my next dentist or I want to know more about a certain procedure I 
would have more trust in you if you were the ones who authored the information. For example, if I 
need a root canal and read information about it (sources of the issue, what to expect on the day, 
approximate costs) I’d be much more comfortable knowing the information was provided by the 
dentist that could potentially be performing the procedure. 
People love people, not brands. This means that if you want to attract a new client they have to 
connect with the people, not the building the people work in. You will be in more demand if you 
become the authority on dentistry (or your specific area of dentistry). 
Tip#4: Get recommendations from your customers 
At FireCask we don’t have a sales team so most of our work comes from the oldest method of 
social networking known to man ­ word of mouth. Online, a good recommendation written by a 
satisfied customer has a wider reach and is permanent (unless of course the customer decides 
to remove the recommendation at a later date which is very uncommon). 
You can receive recommendations offline (via post, or filling out a form) which you can then 
publish on your website. Asking for marks out of 5 can help you produce the 5 star rating system 
as seen in some of Google’s results pages such as this. Online, you have various options for 
● Facebook: your company may have a Facebook Page. If so, ensure it is set as a Local 
Business where people will then be allowed to rate you out of 5. 
● Linkedin: people can recommend you as a dentist within Linkedin. For me, I find this 
invaluable as I now have over 35 recommendations spanning over 5 years. Business 
pages used to have recommendation options but have now been replaced with 
Showcase Pages which I suggest you look into. 
● Google+: as with Facebook, your business’ location can receive reviews if you have a 
Business Page. If you don’t have a business page I suggest you create one as soon as 
possible so you can be located on a map (such as if you search for dentist in 
Tip #5: Add to a Discussion 
As well as the above, social networks also let you, as a person, get involved with discussions. 
Here’s a few places you can go to and become an authority on dentistry within the networks 
● Linkedin Groups ­ you will see suggested groups to join, as well as being able to search 
for groups in the search bar at the top. ● Google+ Communities ­ similar to Linkedin. Find some relevant communities and
contribute to them. 
● Facebook Groups ­ search for groups with relevant terms. 
● Niche sites ­ as well as GDPUK, there will be other sites that cover dentistry from the 
customer’s point of view. Contributing to those sites will help you also become an 
authority, especially if they’re locally based. Searching for terms such as dentist forum uk 
can help (and I notice GDPUK is number 1). 
I hope that this post helps you be able to become more involved online not only to grow your 
business but also your personal profile. Some people of course don’t have the time to do all this 
which is why they hire companies such as my own in order to help them improve their online 
exposure and conversions. 
Get in touch via email - Alex 
tel: +44 161 222 8655
mob: +44 7743 870 210 
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Posted by on in DentistGoneBadd

Improving the Dentist-Patient relationship the Loving way

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Posted by on in Tony Jacobs

Cometh the hour, cometh the man?

That phrase may be a cliche but where does the profession go from here? We have seen careful reaction in the form of a press release from GDC defending themselves against criticism, showing they are not totally thick skinned.

There has been action on all the UK dental websites, GDPUK has been busier then ever, and response to GDPUK has increased by 1061% within the last week.

Vereen Gupta's petition has over 11,500 signatures at the time of writing 

Prem Pal Sehmi's Facebook group has over 4000 likes, and many more are now "liking" the GDC's Facebook page. there must be several more strings of anger, please let me know and I'll add them to this blog.

GDPUK forum has several threads ongoing on this topic, with over thousands of readers and over 350 dentists posting.

But . . . . I think the binding together of all the strings of anger into a rope of action is where the profession is still lacking leadership. We need a person or a body to emerge which has great respect on all sides, and there needs to be practical leadership, not pie in the sky. This leadership has to take on the GDC, warn them or provide proof which makes the PSA or DH take serious action to regulate this out of control regulator.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man?

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