DEC
13
0

The Pace of Change

The Pace of Change

 

 

What on earth is going on in dentistry? 

Is it me?  Has the pace of prospective change suddenly become turbo-charged?

It is worth reminding the profession and its representatives that by and large, in GDP we are NOT employed. We are independent contractors.  So why do the DH and our academic colleagues keep trying to treat us as though we are their whipping boys. 

If you are an associate, I reckon you might be worrying about the lie of the tea leaves.  Ever fancied re training as a Therapist?, Sorry to say , but it might be a good investment.

If you are a practice owner, under the NHS, the Ides of March 2015 look an ominous date.  Your business is dependent upon Government funding; you are NOT employed and yet you are being treated as an employee.  Is it really worth the [soon to be emasculated] pension?

As a private practice owner, are the Government REALLY going to impose rules to eliminate your freedom to practice the way you see fit?  You have the freedom to plan and the capacity to respond. But there are massive changes a’coming.  Bone up ... you have been warned.

In no particular order we have

  • ·         The CDO stating that NHS dental care will continue to be an unspecified [and ergo unlimited] commitment.
  •           Piltos continuing to point to disastrous Patient Charge Revenue allied to the "It can only work with Therapists"  big picture.
  • ·         Suddenly there is a proposal to break up the skill base for GDP into “Tiers” – and as many are already wondering, with associated ‘registration and accreditation’ costs.  Allowing Quangocrat driven deskilling is by any description professional suicide.
  • ·         The Chairman of the GDPC starting to play some cards as the negotiations continue for “Contract Reform”.
  • ·         There seems to be a groundswell of academic attempt to wield influence over the activities of GDPs –from Prof Steele’s changes underway to Dr Chate at the RCS Edinburgh starting to flag GDPs activities in simple orthodontics

Well, I might be a cynical old git, but I reckon the Dept of Health horse has probably already bolted.  I think it highly likely that we are about witness a pre-planned  move to the date of Contract Reform.  Standby for change and press releases on a quarterly basis. Standby for the BDA being outflanked and out-manoeuvred as the soul of dentistry is once agin under threat.  Having a Big Stick is of no use against an out-of-reach elephant.

I reckon the purpose of all this phoney consultation is simply to drag the profession along with a mouldy carrot.

If, as a profession we do not like what Prof Steele’s changes are presenting, and do not think that these changes will either benefit our patients or our businesses, and our associate colleagues, we have a duty to act.

We have a duty to say NO.

The BDA has a duty to say NO

We have a follow on duty to carry our patients with us in this Brave New World.

Its looks like Christmas 2013 will be line-in-the-sand time folks.

Which version of Brave New World do you want to be part of?   The Government’s or your own?

Do you want someone else whipping you at their pace or do you want to control how your career and business evolves?

Strap in guys and girls, the ride is getting bumpy.

  6613 Hits
6613 Hits
NOV
21
0

The Tooth Trip

The Tooth Trip

I was surprised to see the advice we give our patients has not changed much in over 40 years! I am reading a book called “The Tooth Trip” that was written by dentist Thomas McGuire in 1972; he describes the same prevention based dentistry we practice today. This book was written for the public to understand oral diseases and their role in preventing it.

Some of the book is way off the mark with recipes for making homemade toothpaste with Sage, Myrrh and powdered roots. Making toothbrushes from twigs and sticks does not sound like the best use of an hour of your time. What resonated so strongly with me was the descriptions of self-examination of your mouth and emphasis on prevention and working together with your dentist. A whole chapter was on dental emergencies and what constitutes a real emergency- severe or recurrent bleeding or severe pain not relived by painkillers. Just getting your patients to read this chapter alone would save thousands of wasted dental appointments. There was sensible honest advice on how and why teeth can hurt and how you can prevent it and work together with your dental team to stop it recurring.

In our modern age, if we educate our patients in the causes of dental disease and how it is entirely preventable, they too could have healthy mouths and lower dental bills. Despite the fact that most of this information is freely available on the internet or in the leaflets that some dental practices give out, not much has changed. Why is that?

I feel that until the information is specifically tailored to our patents and they can see the benefit from following that specific advice, they will switch off. If you promote the fact that you fix teeth, they will just come and expect you to fix them. This is where modern dental teams come in. We need to genuinely listen to our patients, do not interrupt them, let them get their whole story out. Examine their mouth, show them the evidence of disease in a clear and non-judgemental way. Explain their options and how as a team, you can return their mouth to health. Make them understand that without them, all your treatment will fail. Spending extra time now will save hours of treatment in the future and help educate a generation that loves going to the dentist. All good dentists want their work to be appreciated and to last a life-time.

Four Dental sins from the 1970’s that Dentists still do to this day:

1. Leaflet avoidance. Handing your patients reading matter to explain your treatment and asking them to go home to go through it. Nothing beats a face to face discussion where you allow them time to discuss their personal fears and questions. Leaflets should be only a back-up once the conversation has taken place.

2. Technical jargon. Using dental terminology or complex words to explain your diagnosis and treatment. All professions have jargon. The skilled dentists explain it in a language that that specific patient will understand.

3. Carrying out treatment whilst discussing the patient’s options. No-one can fully concentrate when lying on their back with theirs mouth open or having treatment carried out. Stop, sit the patient up and have a face to face conversation.

4. Bulldozing. Talking it through you your patient until they are worn down and just say yes. Nothing is life or death that you need to decide there and then. Place a temporary filling and then explain the options; pros, cons and cost. Then let them go away and think about it.

 

How are you going to make the most of your patients next tooth trip?

 

Photo by Jenn Durfey, licence info

 

 

James Goolnik is a practising Dentist and his book “Brush” donates 100% of the profits to Dentaid. He recently led a team of 8 dental professionals to Malawi to install two dental chairs, equipment and deliver skills transfer workshops from these proceeds. He is a trustee of the charity “Heart your Smile”.

 

www.jamesgoolnik.com


 

  20867 Hits
20867 Hits
OCT
04
0

BDA is eating itself

BDA is eating itself
 
 
The BDA is eating itself. This has been going on quietly for a few months, since the figures secretly emerged from the membership changes implemented in early summer. News on this topic has been sketchy, the BDA has been trying to keep a lid on it.
 
There is a battle raging at the BDA, but there is a silence, a purdah from those involved. The membership needs to know, and must be told.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_220px-Leonhard_Kern_Menschenfresserin_White.jpg
 
There has been a major shortfall in income, and the organisation has to respond to this, or face dire financial consequences. The PEC met on Tuesday 1st October there has been no press release about this. The GDPC Executive met on Thursday October 3rd. No news from there either. Today [October 4th] the GDPC will be having it's say in London. By then, many more people will be in the know. But the membership should be told what is happening, and what the outcome will be.
 
On one side, the executive and the PEC has set course to retain the costly premises, and salaries of leading executives, make some cutbacks but carry on with the rest of its functions.
 
The other side is both concerned and very angry that cuts will be made to frontline services, directly affecting members and that no-one at the centre of the organisation is taking responsibility in the form of resignation. Cuts that may be made to BDA services include many staff redundancies, potentially in more than one wave. Major concerns are that BDA spending on the trades union side of the organisation will be severely cut. In addition, there are whispers that funding to the BDA branches, its true roots, will be cut to zero next year.
 
My opinion - although decisions were made collectively by boards and committees, the membership plan changes were brought to the fore by a group, and that group should take responsibility.
 
The membership, in their thousands, continue to subscribe millions of pounds, and the majority chose the simplest membership option, which includes the trades union activity. Therefore my prescription - this part of the BDA's work must not be cut.
  11279 Hits
11279 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