Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

There can be very few dentists who turn patients away because the challenge is too big. Even if they can’t complete treatment themselves, they’ll at least point the patient in the right direction.

Continue reading
  3415 Hits
3415 Hits

Leave. What, now?

Leave. What, now?

Two weeks after our vote, give or take and it has been an interesting period to put it mildly.
If you voted Leave, it has been quite hard to lean on the positive, but that is changing. The FTSE 100 is back up, the ‘250 is trailing but improving, and while the Pound has taken a hit, many would argue that has been a trend waiting to happen. Despite Mr Osborne using this week as an excuse to drop his 2020 Deficit promise, the fact is he was a million miles off the mark BEFORE the vote. And then there are the personalities and the power broking.

Non, je ne regrette rien
As a GDP who voted ‘Leave’, do I have regrets? No. Perhaps in future, politicians will take their people seriously instead of overriding our worries with their ‘we know best’ soft speak.
Viz, Mr Cameron, who failed to take Referendum matter seriously enough to have a plan in place, it appears. Similarly, I am surprised to say, the Leave leadership who I suspect were as surprised as the PM that the vote went 52%:48%
I did suggest that it would be a revolution and I do think that is exactly what has happened. About time too, many might suggest.

So what has changed?
Nothing, in the next two years and in reality some greater time than that actually changes. We remain in the EU bound by EU Treaties and Law, making our payments and presumably supplying our MEPs
Now call me cynical.
No sooner had the count been completed than the EU declared that Mr Cameron’s ‘EU Deal’ negotiated in February was declared invalid and was withdrawn! So much for the EU being on Mr Cameron’s side.
Is it me? The EU cannot wait to be shot of us anyway. They have been waiting for this to happen for years.
Where were the ‘Remain’ MEPs during the Referendum campaign? Where were the EU Officials, doing a Grand Tour to report what they the EU does do for us? Quite.
Of course, there has been a huge amount of posturing, and superior sounding comment made by all parties. But the dust is slowly starting to settle and realpolitik is starting to become the accepted wisdom.
The chase for the top job in the Tory party is underway; surely a Brexiteer has to take the job?

The outlook for Labour is unclear as I write this, it appearing that Mr Corbyn feels he does not need the Parliamentary Labour Party on board for him to have another go at winning the leadership.
Just when we need a strong Opposition, they decide to go to the beach!!

A mandate for change, or a vote for planning change?
Now there is a valid point that only 38% of the Electorate voted Leave. There is widespread concern about the Union, given Scotland’s quite specific vote to remain. There is the Irish matter of how to handle and nurture the peace, allied to the thinning border.
It is all very well to say ‘” We voted exit” but accepting that logic recognises that any way forwards has to take account of the 62% of the Electorate who did not vote or voted Remain, it has to take account of Scotland, and it has to take account of Ireland.

That is not a circle that needs squaring – that is a complex multi axis movement joint with a multitude of ways to be set, and this needs arranging BEFORE Article 50 can be invoked. An inclusive approach by the next PM will be critical.

It is my opinion that the result of the referendum, being notable but NOT a mandate, is only a start to such a process, and we are simply not there yet.

It is my opinion that Mr Cameron was mistaken not to create some strong ground rules for the Referendum, in particular to the nature of the need for a vote of in excess of 50% of the Electorate. In any other Committee the world over, that vote was inconclusive enough for the Chairman [ie Mr Cameron] to place his casting vote for the ante status quo.
Burt what is done has been done. What should not happen now is that there should be a rush to make more political mistakes.

Better preparation, and a proper mandate
Despite what has been suggested only today [Sunday 3rd] by Mrs May, there must surely be a General Election to restock Parliament with MPs based upon a final Leave or Remain campaign, before Article 50 can justifiably be invoked. I say that as someone who voted Leave.
The biggest challenge now is for a leader of quality to unite the country in its way forwards. If Mrs Theresa May is the bookies favourite, and given Tory party leadership campaign history of old, Mrs Andrea Leadsom is a likely bet.
These are by all measure the most extraordinary times in which we live.

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to work we go ...
And yet tomorrow, we all go off and drill, fill and bill. Nothing changes, except the mood and the strangely opaque vacuum that is the political parties we see around us.
If the past two weeks have been a Political revolution, we must be careful not to cause a Geographic revolution by poor leadership and ill thought out ways forwards.
The leadership elections various at least buy everyone some time, despite what our huffy and impatient EU Leaders might suggest.
The summer vacations could not come at a better time, to allow everyone to take a deep breath.
Leave? What, now? No, in about 3 years time - perhaps even at the 2020 Election time?

The Autumn is when the real work begins.
MEPs call for swift Brexit to end uncertainty and for deep EU reform
MEPs call for swift Brexit
Top Story - 28-06-2016
Official visit of the President of the European Parliament in London. A general view of the EPIO London, Europe House on June 18, 2015 where the President of the European Parliament Martin SCHULZ today visited and gave interviews with selected journalists. UK-European Flags
European Commission - Fact Sheet
UK Referendum on Membership of the European Union: Questions & Answers

  7124 Hits
7124 Hits

Brexit – implications for buying a practice

Brexit – implications for buying a practice


The Brexit vote has had an immediate and dramatic effect on the UK’s credit rating and the value of Sterling. The UK is now seen as a less safe place to invest in and less secure to lend money to.


PFM Dental Director, Jon Drysdale, says: “The decision to leave the EU could affect your plans to purchase a dental practice and makes it even more vital to have a robust business plan. Lenders will undoubtedly pass on the increased costs of borrowing although against this it unlikely the Bank of England will impose an interest rate rise.”


The UK remains one of the world’s largest and strongest economies with good banking liquidity, relatively low unemployment and perhaps the potential for improved terms with global export markets. If you subscribe to this view, the cost of borrowing money will probably stabilise and remain at a reasonable rate.


All of this emphasises the need for buyers to examine their business plan and the cost of running a business. Are you being realistic about the interest rate you can achieve? Do your projections stress test for rise in the cost of borrowing?


For more information about PFM Dental services go to:

  10871 Hits
10871 Hits

Calm down, calm down

Calm down, calm down

Calm Down, Calm Down, Calm Down


The words of Harry Enfield’s bubble permed Scouse's of the 1990’s are perhaps the most apt at the moment to describe how I feel about the outpouring of angst on the result of the EU Referendum.

Alternatively, to plagiarise somewhat Winston Churchill,


            "Never has so little sense been spoken by so many in so few hours"


I am probably about to join that increasing pile of rubbish, but thought rather than add fuel to what appears to be some as a bonfire of Liberalism and Tolerance I’d try to get a bit of perspective back. I’m certainly no political commentator, (and once you read this you’ll probably agree!!) but I do feel quite strongly how this has developed over the weekend. The sheer vitriol that has been produced in such a short time has been nothing short of shocking, but at least we now have got some real political debate and possibly change on our hands. However, we all need to calm down and stop falling out, because BOTH sides have valid points in my opinion and the only way to move forward now is if we calmly look at the big picture once again.

Because we haven’t actually left Europe. Not yet, and we will not in the next few weeks, months, or years. The referendum was a non-binding one, and merely the biggest opinion poll that has been run in this country for years, albeit with slightly more weight than most have. Unlike the Alternative Voting referendum in 2011, which had a legally binding result, there is no legal duty for a Government to act upon the result of Thursday’s result.

That’s right, Government has no obligation at all to actually heed the result.

It’s certainly monumental that the UK has voted in the way that it has, and there are a multitude of reasons why individuals will have done so. Many of them will have been misguided in other’s eyes, but all of them were personally valid ones to the person who was actually entitled to put their cross in the box. But we have seen the biggest turnout for years that has galvanised the electorate in way that I thought would never happen (now if only we could mobilise dentistry the same way…). This was always going to be a subject dear to the hearts and minds of the populous. It’s a shame that many of the most vocal of those who now feel betrayed by the decision were the ones with the lowest percentage turn out (the 18-24’s having less than 40% turnout). Perhaps there should have been a button on Facebook, or Text your Vote to allow that sector to vote? After all, many of them expect instant and easy solutions without having to actually physically get up and do something…. In addition, a democracy can keep continuing to vote and vote and vote until it gets the answer it wants.

Politically, I am of the opinion that David Cameron has played a political masterstroke. Unlike many, I was not shocked at all when I heard of his resignation. This is a man with an exceptionally astute political mind, and the outcome (although unexpected by many) will have been modelled by advisors. If we read into what he has said in the past, he had only alluded to the fact that a leave vote would result in the British public ‘expecting’ the process to leave the EU to be started straightaway.

An expectation by the public is not the same has an obligation by a politician though, and with his resignation, he has delivered what can only be described as a Hospital Pass to his successor as Prime Minister. For the formal process of leaving the EU to begin, Article 50 of the EU agreement relating to departure has to be formally invoked. Now, it is unclear if the invocation of this can be made by only the Prime Minister, or whether (more likely in my opinion) it has to have been voted on by Parliament in order to become formal. However, the result of the referendum, DID NOT invoke this process, and no matter what the EU Bureaucrats say, the UK is the only entity that can start this process.

So, a political hot potato has been deftly delivered by David Cameron as his last act in office. A new Tory Leader from the Leave side will have to either go against the referendum result, which will immediately destroy their personal credibility and therefore the faith of many people in their suitability to be Prime Minister, or they will have to activate Article 50, which then will probably have to go through parliament to be voted on. If they don’t do this immediately, then doubts about the suitability of the new leader to govern will set in as well. Is this not a most beautiful revenge on his once close allies Boris and Michael? In one fell swoop Cameron has called their bluff magnificently. ‘Leave’ now has to put up or shut up, and either enter into negotiations with the EU saying it was all a ploy to get further concessions, or activate the Article 50 clause, which might be their own political suicide if they don’t truly believe in what they have achieved.

I think we will then have the prospect of a snap General Election that could once again change the political face of the UK and re-establish a new political balance. One that might have Remaining in the EU as one of its fundamental promises. That’ll give the electorate who are currently appealing for a ‘best of 3’ approach to democracy to have another go at influencing the decision. However, quite as possibly with be a further endorsement of the desire to leave, but then there becomes a true mandate for a new Government to act upon. It’s like pressing the Reboot switch.

We have now heard that the Scottish MPs under Sturgeon will actively block the departure of the UK from the EU if this goes through parliament for a vote. So nothing at the moment is a given for the UK actually managing to leave the United States of Europe. The majority of the political commentators will know all this but cynically I’m of the opinion it serves the purpose of the media to keep all the froth and agitation going at the moment to confuse the populous even more and influence how they think whilst selling papers.

And the leaders of country with such political ability in the world didn’t see this outcome as possible?????

I suppose I should have a few opinions on what this means in Dentistry then. Well, for a start the GDC isn’t going to be affected by it at all. The Dentists Act 1984 is a piece of UK legislation and whilst it has EU aspects covered by such as the Human Rights Act and Data Protection Act, and has to be compatible with EU tenets of law, nothing within the day to day interpretation of the Act is likely to be affected by what happened last week. The same is true with the CQC. The UK is wonderful at developing infrastructure like this, and certainly doesn’t need the EU to make a business out of bureaucracy. There certainly won’t be a bonfire of the dental Quangos whether we stay in or out is my prediction.

There are a significant number of EU graduates working in the UK, and I don’t see any evidence that coachloads will be shipped back through the Channel Tunnel before it is bricked up overnight. What might actually happen though is that the corporates might find their supply of naïve EU dentists dries up due to the uncertainty of the future direction of the UK, and they might actually have to pay a competitive income to get people to work for them. This will no doubt affect their bottom line somewhat, and they might actually find they are now susceptible to the same pressures that normal practices are under and have to adapt the same way as we have all done. This can only be a good thing in order to restore the competitive balance in our profession.

What also might be beneficial to dentistry from leaving is the restoration of parity to our own graduates. Those who graduate from the UK have to complete foundation training before being allowed to work in the NHS, yet those from the EU don’t. Not only that, because the EU training is seen as equivalent to the UK, we cannot impose requirements like the ORE on them. Are all the EU Dental training courses the same quality? I think some of us might disagree that every single course is.  Surely this has benefitted those from the EU more than our homegrown graduates, and this potential discrimination can be possibly now be addressed in the future.

We still don’t really know what will happen with the prices of dental goods in the long term. Much of it is indeed made in the EU, but the USA and Asia are also vast markets, and not necessarily unified like the EU. China as an emerging market has already rocked the world of the dental technicians, and there is no reason why that cannot happen in the rest of dentistry. Admittedly controlling quality is going to be the issue, which worries me, but there are also some highly ethical businesses there that would work well within dentistry. There will be inevitably be some adjustments of prices because of the strength of the pound, but equally there is now an opportunity for entrepreneurs within the dental supply chain to start ‘disrupting’ the usual model.

The one thing we are unsure of is the overall effect on the general public and their incomes. Potentially this is huge, and the instability that is coming will affect them to an unknown degree. It is notable that the professional advice from the likes of the Bank Of England is to keep calm, whereas those who have a self interest, either towards the EU, or financially, in keeping the markets volatile is to Panic and Run Away. I know what I shall be doing. At times like this speculators usually manage to be the overall winners anyhow, so it’s in their interest to keep earning their money how they always have done.

But all this pre-assumes we will actually leave. I’m afraid I don’t believe the upper echelons of political power (and by that I don’t mean government but the high level civil servants who are in post despite what political flag is flying over Westminster) haven’t already worked out what their long game is and planned their chess moves accordingly.

So, we need to keep calm, because we haven’t actually left yet, and I personally don’t think we were ever going to….

Though the real question is can we trust any of them anymore?


Image credit - Muffinn under CC licence - not modified.



  11759 Hits
11759 Hits

Please don't vote for dictatorship

Please don't vote for dictatorship


The EU is behaving like a dictatorship
Unelected officials devise rules, laws and regulations. They have a Foreign Office, they plan an army. They tried to control our currency. They even affect our vacuum cleaners and light bulbs. And what about terrorists we wish to eject, terrorists who care nought for the human rights of their victims. We are stopped from deporting them.
Britain has a long proud history of both democracy that leads the world, as well as an even longer, prouder history of standing up and fighting against dictators
This vote, this week, allows the people of Britain the chance to vote against this non democratic organisation with which we have become unwittingly embroiled.
Thankfully . . . . No war will be needed, no blood will be spilt, no lives will be lost.
It needs you to place a small amount of graphite from the voting booth pencil in the LEAVE box.
Please vote LEAVE.

Tony Jacobs BDS, dentist, publisher of


Image credit -Fernando Butcher under CC licence - not modified.

  9282 Hits
Recent Comments
Keith Hayes

Please don't vote for dictator...

I whole heartedly agree Tony. I will vote with my heart and my head on Thursday and I'm backing Britain as part of the World, not ... Read More
Monday, 20 June 2016 14:00
Tim Coates

For the good of future generat...

I'm with you all the way Tony. The remain camp are focusing on the short term economic hiccoughs that will follow Brexit. They a... Read More
Monday, 20 June 2016 15:08
9282 Hits

Inexorable Mindfulness

Inexorable Mindfulness

As a GDP I am really struggling to focus on what my vote should be. So I have set myself the task of reading across the campaigns this weekend.

It’s a busy week, and you too need to do your final reading. If only this was vCPD eh? 

Well why not?    It’s clear that this affects your dental practice, so go reading, message me privately and I will send you a simple feedback document, and a certificate for vCPD. Allow 2 hours.

What is they say about a divorce? You must have a reason to go and a reason to leave.


Do we? Have we?


Here are your links for the Remain and Leave campaigns [also knon as the  “Innit” and  “Exit” !] and other information sources or repute.  If you read over these there will be lots of facts, and a degree of balance.  I have tried to avoid opinion.


EXIT  If at the end of this, you vote for the UK to exit, you will be lighting the fuse for the first cannon shot in a bloodless revolution.

No less, no more.  The aftermath will be a change in the political landscape of the UK not seen for centuries. Make no mistake, in the past, civil conflinct started over less.

REMAIN  If we vote to stay in, we will have the same group of leading politicians weakened by the arguments in the campaign, but a stronger case for lead influence in Brussels.  Perhaps a vote to remain is a vote for change we do not expect?



But if the polls are to be believed there is a groubndswell of decided opinion forming. Watch out - the UK electorate has a habit of suprising the pollsters.


If we do indeed vote to exit the political treaty that is the EU two things have to happen.

Firstly, the present political leadership must go.

Secondly, therefore, by any logic,  there must be a snap General Election.

And there begins 5 years hard work to re align our political and trading arrangement with the EU and the world, under new elected leadership.


And, guess what happens if we vote to remain?  Exactly the same.  UK politics will never be the same for this generation.


This is  a big job and on Thursday when you vote, you are not voting for no change.

You are voting for how you want the change to occur and when.

Should we lead from outside the EU and try and lead from within?


Whatever you do, Vote


Whatever you do, respect your neighbour and his or her opinions.

That right to vote is something we have taken for granted these last hundred years.

It’s a new privilege and a new right in many of our Eastern European neighbours home states


And good luck, friends and colleagues.

This really is a momentous event, in which you are free to both witness and partake.


Go use your your freedoms, as wisely as you can, and we will met on the other side.


  6092 Hits
Recent comment in this post
David Chong Kwan

Worth a listen Vote with your head... Read More
Saturday, 18 June 2016 23:13
6092 Hits

Stay connected with Europe - you fought for it

Stay connected with Europe - you fought for it

Regardless of the outcome on this very important choice presented to the British public, it is unlikely that a seismic shift will happen. The UK will not collapse if it leaves the EU or decides to stay within. I fear a large amount of campaigning already underway and yet to come, is riddled with slick speeches oiled with dubious premises and unsubstantiated claims. Exaggeration and obfuscation are rife and even an alert and politically savvy observer will struggle to separate the wheat from the chaff.  

It would be difficult for me to delve into projections, bureaucratic details, legal technicalities and number crunching as that is above my pay grade. To be fair, I feel many are probably in the same position - maybe even those in charge!
I do worry how an United Kingdom outside of an EU, instead of being leaders within it, would lose opportunities. I worry science and technology research and development would lose out, by not sharing knowledge, policies, objectives, infrastructure and freedom of movement being curtailed. Being out of EU would give us full control of our front door, however I worry that we would be less safe when knowing much less of what’s happening in the rest of the neighbourhood, let alone count on their help. I worry the British economic clout may be diminished when on its own, as well as more volatile. 
I abhor and despair with how the EU has become too complex and burdened with red tape, excessive running costs and obnoxious agendas some try to push. I don’t think Europe is ready for a true federalist solution. However, I believe the futures of the UK and Europe are inexorably linked, wether you like it or not. I would much rather see the UK leading from within, pushing for a 'leaner and meaner EU’, than staying aside without a say in it. You may say they’ve tried and failed, concomitantly it has not helped that anti-EU British MEPs keep getting voted in large numbers, when they only boycott and undermine proceedings whilst still taking advantage of their EU perks they claim to protest against. 
Finally, the eligible voter will decide. I hope whatever the result, things will go well for the country which I have made my own for over 10 years now and intend to continue contributing to. I would feel better if the UK stayed and fought for a prosperous and safe Europe from a position of influence, after all Brits having been doing that for quite a while. At times, let us not forget, with great human cost. Would be a shame to turn our backs now. 
Eurico Martins is a GDP, who qualified in his home country of Portugal, he has been working as an associate in the south of England for the last 10 years.
Image credit -Abi Begum under CC licence - not modified.
  5475 Hits
5475 Hits

Please do not re-register if you have forgotten your details,
follow the links above to recover your password &/or username.
If you cannot access your email account, please contact us.

Mastodon Mastodon