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NOV
15
0

G.D.P.U.K

G.D.P.U.K

Welcome to our latest blog. Below are 5 reasons that we believe make GDPUK a unique place to market your business and reach your target audience of dentists. G.D.P.U.K.

 

 

 

G = Growing

 

Established in 1997, GDPUK continues to grow

 
  • 20 years of hosting dental discussion chat and opinion

  • The home of dental opinion in the UK

  • Just under 10,000 members, who are all part of the profession

  • Since beginning of 2014, we have had 3500 new members, the site is constantly growing.

  • Approx 1,000 different people contribute to our forum discussions in a calendar year.

  • In 2016, we are averaging over 4,000 unique visitors a month to the site.

D = Debate

GDPUK is the home of dental opinion and information.

 
  • The site is proud that it gives a medium for dentists to discuss dentistry in the UK and give their opinion of what matters to them.

  • The site can be controversial but we see that as a good thing. We exist because the content in our news, blogs and forum pages is interesting to read. We continue to attract an audience.

  • This tradition continued at our conference in November 2016 and our 20th anniversary celebrations in 2017.

P = Publisher

Publisher of Daily Dental News and Blogs

  • Large audience follow our news and blogs

  • GDPUK has a news editor, plus a number of paid content writers

  • News stories receive thousands of readers a week

  • A range of blogs are published weekly, full of opinion, humour and insight.

  • Our news is published instantly, so the site carries the latest stories, no monthly deadlines, no print nor post delays….

  • @DentistGoneBadd our comedy blogger attracts around 5,000 readers per week, 100,000 in the last twelve months.

U = Unique Opportunities

Reach your target audience

  • GDPUK offers unique advertising spaces to get in front of your target audience

  • Dentists are reading our site every day of the week.

  • The site is like a dental exhibition every day!

  • Feature on our daily digest email, which gets sent 3 times a day, every day

  • Ask us about what we can offer for a 12 month marketing campaign.

K = Kinship

Become Part of the GDPUK Family

  • We are a small, close knit group and business at GDPUK

  • Work with us and we can help any problems or issues and come back to you instantly

  • We can provide full accountability on everything and we are always available to speak or help.

  • GDPUK loves to build close relationships, with our users, colleagues and also our customers who help to keep the site running.

For more information about GDPUK and how we can help to market your business, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks for reading.

  4806 Hits
4806 Hits
NOV
14
0

Mysteries of The Prototypes Explained

The New Contract

  7774 Hits
7774 Hits
NOV
11
0

Insure Your Home For Peace of Mind - 4 dentist group

Insure Your Home For Peace of Mind - 4 dentist group

Today, the assurance that home insurance can provide is invaluable, particularly as it can offer peace of mind to homeowners that their house and contents are protected.

There are a number of different types of home insurance available from standard cover to more bespoke, specialist policies. Buildings insurance covers both the structure of the house as well as the replacement or repairs of permanent fixtures such as bathrooms and kitchens as well as the roof. Contents insurance protects your declared belongings, including electronics, jewellery, clothes, furniture and so on from incidences like theft, fire and flooding. Accidental damage cover, which can be used to repair or replace items that have been damaged – such as a smashed TV or wine stain on the carpet – is classed as an extra, so be sure to specify what you require when selecting your policy. More specialist policies can cover holiday homes, listed buildings, high-value homes and belongings and non-standard houses.

Regardless of which policy you choose it is crucial that you are aware of what it covers and the restrictions that are applied within the small print, otherwise you could find yourself unable to make a claim. 

Statistics show that the most common claims made by policyholders in 2015 were weather (25 per cent), escaping water (21 per cent), fire (13 per cent), theft (13 per cent), accidental damage (10 per cent), domestic subsidence (4 per cent) and other domestic claims (14 per cent). [i]

Claims for floods have increased in particular over recent years. At the end of 2015, start of 2016 alone, storms Desmond, Eva and Frank are thought to have resulted in payouts of £1.3 billion, with each claim thought to average at £50,000 – in 2013/14 the average was £31,000.[ii] With research showing that heavy rainstorms are on the rise due to manmade climate change – one in five extreme rain events experienced globally are as a result of the global rise in temperature[iii] – it is possible that we could be seeing a lot more claims for bad weather and flooding in the coming years; something to think about if you are not currently protected against these events.

If you don't have an existing policy or you are looking to change or upgrade, it can be prudent to enlist the services of a specialist agency such as insurance4dentists that can advise you on products that would be best suited to you. By going at it alone you run the risk of selecting cover that might not be sufficient or correct for your needs, which could result in a subsequent claim being rejected. Thus, for peace of mind, contact an expert adviser today.

 

For more information please call 0845 345 5060 or 0754 DENTIST. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.insurance4dentists.co.uk

 



[i] UK Insurance and Long Term Savings Key Facts 2015. Accessed online August 2016 at https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/2015/Statistics/Key%20Facts%202015.pdf

[ii] Association of British Insurers. New figures reveal scale of insurance response after recent floods. Published January 2016. Accessed online August 2016 at https://www.abi.org.uk/News/News-releases/2016/01/New-figures-reveal-scale-of-insurance-response-after-recent-floods

[iii] Fischer EM, Knutti R. Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes. Published online 27 April 2015. Accessed online August 2016 at http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2617.epdf?referrer_access_token=15X7XExUOy_QyvQu3oFbBNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MiqNJsr0khJzfLkhisC13QLeclYOunBpKyWwMws3LCxAbMW6ZeZtRWGeJqzjaIlG0THL84TJflFRuci-_5AC2TC5OFqIL6C2FchKpN7X0tcse9TXYTD9JL2PQtQ8SIueuA9AwYf2wX2ATSugIprTD5G-nRwQKdPabgc2BOsEeP20S5cQQyB8z5jdT7GDJfM5fWZ-W0GRCNq7rv-s7xjtOBnJNX4r8ng6irk0B2Xy509ckVGq1gCD7cdZTMrfC7WWXcj8BJVH17sivoLY85lFdY&tracking_referrer=www.theguardian.com

 

  4189 Hits
4189 Hits
NOV
11
0

Equipping UK dentistry - Christopher Cox A-dec

Equipping UK dentistry  - Christopher Cox A-dec

With over one thousand students enrolling in the UK’s dental schools last year, it is vitally important that each and every one of them receives quality training from the very moment they begin their education. After all, it is they who will be responsible for the future of dentistry – a future which, it must be said, is looking ever more challenging.

With an ageing population, the needs of patients are changing, placing new pressures on dental professionals that must be addressed from the very beginning of their careers. This can then be juxtaposed against the shifting needs of dental professionals themselves, prompted, in part, by an increasing understanding of the ergonomic requirements of dentistry.

Having access to the latest technology and equipment is particularly important, after all this reflects the direction in which dentistry is going. For young dental students, it sets an early precedent which may be continued throughout the rest of their career – and this is why so many of the UK’s dental schools are choosing A-dec equipment.

Designed to meet the challenges of modern dentistry, A-dec dental units are renowned for both their reliability and functionality. With years of testing and retesting invested into their creation, each product is devised to provide practitioners with precisely what they need to practice excellent dentistry. Whether it’s ease of maintenance, cost efficiency, the capability of integrating necessary ancillaries or providing an ergonomic workplace solution, A-dec chairs are developed with a keen understanding of what practitioners need and want from their dental equipment. 

With high quality equipment available to train on, dental students are more likely to learn to practise in a way that greatly benefits both themselves and their patients. With A-dec stools and dental chairs, for example, students will be able to acquire the correct working posture early on, meaning that the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders later in their careers will be mitigated.

Fully committed to ensuring that the next generation of UK dentists have the very best start in their careers, A-dec works closely with the country’s best training facilities, providing quality equipment on which students can perfect their skills. A-dec UK has worked closely with the majority of UK dental schools and has installed literally thousands of dental units and training simulators across the country.

Aiming to provide support to the dental community at all stages, A-dec is also proud to work alongside some of the biggest and most celebrated dental hospitals in the country. The team has, in the last several years, installed over a thousand dental chairs (the majority being the premier A-dec 500 model) into many dental hospitals across the UK and Ireland, including Birmingham Dental Hospital, the Royal London Dental Hospital, Bristol Dental Hospital, the Peninsula Dental Hospital and the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital.

The quality of the services provided in these facilities necessitates the use of nothing but the most reliable and multi-functional equipment available – which makes A-dec the perfect choice. The A-dec 500 is one of the most cutting-edge dental chairs on the UK market, boasting a design that meets the challenges of modern dentistry – in all scenarios. With optimum ergonomics, excellent mobility and access, reliable internal mechanisms and the clinical adaptability, the A-dec 500 is changing the way in which the UK’s dental hospitals have been treating patients.

In addition to the provision of exceptional equipment, A-dec also offers each of its institutional partners unparalleled support. With a keen understanding of how important each and every piece of equipment in any of these facilities is, the A-dec support team is available to support and advise with any query.

Led by Christopher Cox, A-dec’s Sales and Marketing Manager, the team provides unwavering assistance from the very beginning of an installation project, including design and fitting, to continuing maintenance and engineer support. Christopher says: “I’m very proud of the work undertaken by A-dec in the UK’s dental hospitals and schools and look forward to continuing to support their success.”

With so many fantastic institutions now recognising the benefits of A-dec equipment, it must be remembered that A-dec offers the same exceptional products and support to independent dental practices. Simply contact the team to find out precisely how they could help you.

 

For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit

www.a-dec.co.uk or call on 0800 2332 85

 

 

 

 

  3273 Hits
3273 Hits
NOV
11
0

Uber drivers found to be workers: What are the implications on the dental world?

Uber drivers found to be workers: What are the implications on the dental world?

Uber drivers scored a massive victory against their bosses last week, by challenging the company’s assertion that they are self-employed. However, the London Central Employment Tribunal were not determining whether Uber drivers were employees or self-employed, but rather whether they were somewhere in the middle; were they in fact “workers” for employment law purposes. And the answer was yes.

Uber now faces mass litigation as drivers are being advised to issue claims.  Deliveroo staff are jumping on the band wagon too; they are taking legal steps to unionise and gain worker status. And these are not the only companies that are likely to have claims issued against them. With an ever expanding GIG economy the Uber case is of huge importance.

It also highlights the importance of categorising staff correctly from the outset of any contractual relationship and ensuring contracts are not drafted by lawyers to merely try to avoid claims but are drafted to reflect the reality of the situation.

The distinction between employees, workers and the self-employed is particularly relevant within dentistry. Dentists engaged as associates have traditionally been labelled self-employed, however, the contractual reality is often very different. Practices must now review their contracts and ask themselves what it is they want to achieve from their working relationships. As a practice owner, if you do not want to be liable for employment rights such as sick or holiday pay, now is the time to act. Some simple changes in the way you run your business will make all the difference.  As for associates, it is now worth considering your status to see whether you have been missing out on some of the paid benefits that come from being a worker.

Remember; simply because an associate has signed a ‘self-employed’ contract without complaint for a number of years, does not prevent future claims being issued against your practice.  

This decision is also likely to have a massive impact on the dental community and in particular the classification of associates, especially with the rise of corporates. Here we look at why.  

Decision

On 28th October 2016 the London Central Employment Tribunal sent out its long awaited judgment in the case of Aslam & ors v (1) Uber BV (2) Uber London Limited and (3) Uber Britannia Limited.  The Tribunal held that Uber drivers should be considered workers, as opposed to self-employed contractors.

Uber has already confirmed its intentions to appeal the decision, and the case is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court given the huge ramifications of the decision, and the implications on a number of business models based on a similar ethos to Uber.

Legal Definition of Worker

Firstly, it should be noted that the Uber drivers were only seeking to establish themselves as workers; not employees. As such we are only considering this category here. For detailed guidance on employment status you can read our October 2016 blog here.

Workers lie in between employees and self-employed contractors, gaining some rights afford to employees but not all of them. This table steps out the rights of each.

To determine worker status, the Tribunal will ask:

  • Personal service: Did the individual undertake under the contract to personally perform work or services?
  • Business undertaking: Was the status of the ‘employer’ under the contract that of a customer of a business undertaking carried on by the individual?
  • Mutuality of obligation: was there mutuality of obligation between the individual and the ‘employer’?

The courts have made it clear that ‘the question in every case is…what was the true agreement between the parties.’ It is therefore the reality of the situation that is analysed in line with the above three questions, not just the contractual documents.

Key Findings

  • Personal Service. It was not disputed that the drivers undertook to do the work personally. In any event the Tribunal found that the essential bargain between the parties was that, for a reward, the driver makes himself available to carry passengers of Uber to their destinations.

 

How is this relevant to dentists?

This is similar to a contract between associate and dental practice, in that the associate must make himself available at agreed times, and for a fee, to treat the patients of the practice.

 

  • Business Undertaking. Uber argued that it was not in business as a supplier of transportation services. It was merely a platform which connected passengers to drivers. Uber claimed to be a a customer of the drivers, as drivers paid a fee to use the platform. However, the Tribunal disagreed. It found that Uber offers a range of services, UberX, UberXL, UberEXEC, UberTAXI and UberWAV. Whereas the drivers only offer one of the services. Crucially, Uber marketed itself as offering a range of transport services, not as a platform service. This was for its benefit; not the benefit of the individual drivers. The Tribunal therefore held that Uber is a transportation service and not a customer of the drivers. Interestingly this is a similar argument Uber put forward before the North California District Court, namely that it was a technology company and not a transportation services. This argument was resoundingly rejected by that court too.

 

How is this relevant to dentists?

Dental practices are not a conduit by which patients access their dentists. Instead they market themselves as the end supplier of a range of services, such as hygienists and therapists or specialists and dentists with specialist interests, whereas not all staff will be providing those services.

 

  • Mutuality of obligation. Once an individual becomes a driver, they have access to the App, which sends passenger requests to available drivers. A driver is not required to turn the App on but when they do there are certain requirements that the driver must adhere to, including the number of cancellations they can make, the number of fares they reject when online and in terms of their ratings. The Tribunal found this meant the drivers were required to work for Uber when online and that Uber had an element of control over the work the drivers carried out.

 

How is this relevant to dentists?

Dental practices must have associates in place to undertake dental treatment on the patients booked into the surgery. As such the practice requires the dentist to be available during surgery opening hours. This is even more applicable in relation to practices with NHS contracts, where the practice will require associates to complete a minimum number UDAs per annum. Associates also must comply with the practices policies and procedures.

 

  • Reality of the relationship. The contract and agreements between Uber and the Drivers referred to Uber providing platform services to connect customers with drivers. Of this the Tribunal said ‘the notion that Uber in London is a mosaic of 30,000 small business linked by a common ‘platform’ is to our minds faintly ridiculous…Ms Bertram spoke of Uber assisting drivers to ‘grow’ their businesses, but no driver is in a position to do anything of the kind, unless growing his business simply means spending more hours at the wheel. The Tribunal went on to state how Uber do not supply leads for drivers, as drivers are not free to negotiate a deal with the customer.

 

How is this relevant to dentists?

Often Dental Practices set the rates for the dental treatment offered and dentists are not free to negotiate those prices.  Also dental practices will often promote the services they offer as a whole and the associate is therefore not free to grow their own business. However, if an associate has their own client list, sets their own hours and/or is able to send a locum in their stead without restrictions, then the reality of the relationship is something different.

We feel that the tide is turning against the broad brush approach to defining ‘self-employment’ and the Tribunals and HMRC will be considering how to crack down on employers seeking to avoid their duties. In a nut shell, in order to protect your practice from costly litigation, make sure your contracts reflect the true relationship of the parties and if you are not sure, then seek advice from an expert.

Laura Pearce, Senior Solicitor

  8617 Hits
8617 Hits
NOV
10
0

Award winning laboratory goes from strength to strength

Award winning laboratory goes from strength to strength

 

Relocating to offices 4 times larger than before, the success of S4S (UK) Limited and Smilelign Limited has meant that they needed to go bigger and better! 

 

Watch below for a video invite from Matt Everatt, S4S Technical Director!

 

 

S4S and Smilelign are hosting a laboratory launch to celebrate their move to Rutland Road and their continuing success. Featuring tours and a thank you by the Directors, the Signing Dentist will also be in attendance! With a mission to promote oral health in a fun and entertaining way, and as seen on Good Morning Britain, Dr Milad Shadrooh has his own YouTube channel and over 20 million Facebook views. 

 

Doors will be thrown open at 4pm on the 7th December at 151 Rutland Road, S3 9PT. The planned launch will consist of tours of the lab space, a talk from the Technical Director about the business - how it has remained strong despite factors such as the economic crisis, and the first-class staff that they employ - and a session with the aforementioned Singing Dentist, Dr Milad Shadrooh, explaining how he intends to continue delivering a positive message for the UK dental industry as well as sharing his experience of using S4S and Smilelign in his practice. Followed by drinks and nibbles, the afternoon should prove to be a popular event amongst the business and dental scene. 

 

S4S and Smilelign have grown significantly since their conception and have won a number of national awards including Best Dental Laboratory in both 2014 and 2015, and are up for the award again this year. “Eliminating the space constraints of our previous home will allow our team to continue to provide the excellent service that our clients expect” says Neil Bullement, Commercial Director, “with close to 9,000 sq ft, we now have space for further growth”.

 

About S4S (UK) Limited & Smilelign

An award-winning dental laboratory S4S and Smilelign provides clinically proven treatments to dentists and patients in the fields of snoring & sleep apnoea, bruxism and orthodontics as well as offering educational opportunities to GDPs and others in the surrounding fields. To learn more visit www.s4sdental.com or call us on 0114 250 176.

  3933 Hits
3933 Hits
NOV
09
0

Market your business online, work with GDPUK in 2017

Market your business online, work with GDPUK in 2017

 

Ask us, How we can help you?

 

There has been a recurring theme this week (other than the US Presidential Election) and that is clients or prospects asking how we can help them in 2017?

We see GDPUK as an integral part of a dental companies opportunity to market themselves to dentists in the UK. We believe we have a large, active and engaged audience on the site, which we are very proud of. This is important because dental professionals in the UK are using social media more than ever and GDPUK is at the centre of that.

So we have put together a short list of the ways in which we can help our clients engage with potential customers.

 

  1. Banner Ads - We offer a range of banner ads on the site and our daily digest emails. Further info can be found in our media pack and by getting in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  2. 12 month packages of advertising. We have a number of deals with clients that run for 12 months, which offer the client excellent exposure, good value and builds a great working relationship between GDPUK and the client.

  3. Product / Service Launches - We can help launch a new product into the market, with blogs, news articles and banner ads.

  4. Special Offers - Entice new or old customers with a special offer / or sample offer

  5. Case Studies - We can publish case studies for you of products that are working for patients in dental practices. A case study can be a great way of demonstrating how your product works and how it will help the dentist improve his or her skills.

  6. Forum Reviews / Tests - Put your product to the test, use members of the GDPUK forum to test your product and receive honest reviews that can be shared on the forum and published as a blog post.

  7. Surveys - Run a survey, which can be hosted by our site or your site. Use it to do product research etc

  8. Social Media Competitions - Combining promotion on GDPUK and other social media channels, we can run a competition that helps collect data and potential new users of your product.

  9. Promotion of Courses / Events - There are a large number of events, meetings, courses that are scheduled in the UK dental calendar on an annual basis, we can help with promotion and even the sale of the tickets.

  10. 2017 Conference. Next year we are pleased to be hosting an event to celebrate our 20th year of a space for dentists in the UK to talk and share opinion. This milestone, will be marked with conference towards the end of next year. Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities will be available.

 

If you would like to try any other marketing ideas on our site, we are always interested in new methods and always looking to learn. Look forward to hearing from you soon, helping your business thrive in 2017.

Thanks for reading.

  5294 Hits
5294 Hits
NOV
09
0

Compliance made easy - Martin Gilbert

Compliance made easy - Martin Gilbert

‘Compliance’ may be one of the most hated words amongst dental practitioners these days. Indeed, whether it’s HTM01-05 or CQC, it pervades almost every aspect of the profession – and there really is no escaping it.

 

However, while we may not want to like compliance, there can be no denying that it has helped us improve our service, protect our patients and ourselves. Certainly, without HTM01-05, our practices would not be nearly as safe as they are today, and without the CQC, many more cases of malpractice might go unnoticed, undermining the integrity of the dental profession.

 

These days, however, compliance extends far beyond the clinical aspects of our work – decontamination, patient consent and case documentation, for example; indeed, as mentioned above, it is integral to almost everything we do within the walls of our practice.

 

This also includes our finance options. Patient finance is by no means a new feature in modern dentistry, but it is certainly becoming increasingly more popular as patient demands begin to change. Certainly, as more and more patients seek out elective, cosmetic treatments – many of which necessitate higher value procedures – the need to provide cost-effective credit options is essential. Indeed, if there is one thing that we have all learnt since the recessionary years, it’s that ‘affordability’ is golden. As the demand for different treatments rises, so too does the competition between professionals – both inside and outside the UK. As such, it is vitally important to offer ways for patients to financially access the treatments they want.

 

Of course, by offering finance options in practice, dental professionals are introducing themselves to yet another form of compliance – and a particularly stringent one at that. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates all consumer credit, and its guidelines are strict.

 

Indeed, the FCA does not distinguish between a dentist, who has built up trust and who may have a long-term relationship with their patients, and a company that deals with patients on an entirely ad hoc basis. The result of this is that dental professionals who want to offer their patients finance options for treatment will be subject to the same stringent regulations as any payday loan company or bank.

 

As one might imagine, therefore, the amount of administration involved in maintaining compliance with the regulations can be something of a nightmare – especially for independent practices that do not have the resources of manpower to dedicate a specific member of staff to its maintenance.

 

In fact, just applying to the FCA for finance authorisation can be an excruciating process – not to mention the subsequent reporting and reviews that the FCA requires on a regular basis. All this can be particularly disruptive – and is unlikely to really be one of the highest priorities in a busy practice that already has to deal with many other compliance issues on a day-to-day basis.

 

Of course, this does put practices at risk of falling foul of the regulations – and represents a real threat to the reputation and financial wellbeing of any practice.

 

So, unfortunately, dental professionals may find themselves in something of a catch-22 situation. As more and more patients demand affordable dental treatments, practitioners may feel as though they need to offer credit options, but by doing so, they will have to devote time they probably do not have to the appropriate compliance protocols and regulations. And if they cannot, they will not be able to meet the demands of their patients at all – and run the risk of losing business.

 

Luckily, however, there are a number of solutions. In light of the increased interest in dental finance options, a number of third party companies have appeared that will handle all aspects of finance compliance for the practice – for a fee. These fees can be quite high, but they do buy practices the chance to leave all matters of compliance in the hands of the company they have chosen to work on their behalf. The problem with this, though, is that FCA authorisation is still in the name of the practice owner, who will ultimately be responsible – and liable – for the authorisation overall.

 

Another option is to work with a company that can offer exemption from authorisation through its own FCA arrangements. This means practitioners will not need direct authorisation through the FCA – and all matters of compliance and liability will be lifted from the practitioner’s shoulders.

 

Now there is a company in the UK that offers this type of service to dental professionals: Chrysalis Finance. Their expert team works to ensure dentists have access to easy, safe and cost-effective credit options, which they can then offer to their patients with absolute peace of mind.

 

In a profession as tightly controlled by compliance as dentistry, every little helps. Offering credit options to patients may be becoming a very real aspect of the profession, but stressing over the compliance does not have to be. Contact the team at Chrysalis Finance to find out more.

 

For more information about Chrysalis Finance call us on 0333 32 32 230 or visit www.chrysalisfinance.com

  3684 Hits
3684 Hits
NOV
08
0

A Day in the Life of a Clinical Lead

A Day in the Life of a Clinical Lead

 

Dr Mark Hughes is a Clinical Lead for Bupa Dental, which is a member of the Association of Dental Groups. Here, he discusses how his daily life has changed since joining the corporate…

 

 

It has been just over two years since Bupa Dental acquired our group of practices. I was previously a partner in the business, based in the City, West End and Canary Wharf. Our focus was primarily corporate dental clients, with an emphasis on dental insurance schemes alongside private patients. 

 

I took on the role of Clinical Lead for the group, while also caring for a full patient list. Having been involved from 1998 to 2014, I had become very busy with regular and new clients covering all aspects of general dental care. In addition, I was liaising with the other dentists, dental nurses and hygienists regularly to identify any issues. We prided ourselves on responding to clinical and personal concerns quickly, despite the increasing size of the group.

 

When we announced the change of ownership, there were varied concerns from both the clinical and administrative staff. I suppose we all have an image of a faceless, financially driven, uncaring business when the word ‘corporate’ is linked with dental practice, so there was a degree of scepticism to manage. As there had been a long consultation process prior to the sale, however, we were convinced that the new group shared our goals and beliefs in how to care for patients and move the business forward. As such, we were pleased to find these concerns did not come to fruition.

 

I was offered the role of Clinical Lead within Bupa alongside my usual clinical duties. This has involved being a part of the clinical governance process including audits, interviewing new clinicians, complaint handling and acting as a link between practitioners and management. I was keen to undertake this role to facilitate the transition between private and corporate ownership, as well as helping the continuity of patient care.

 

Which brings me to the main question many will ask – what is it like working as part of a large organisation?

 

First the caveats; I came from a relatively large group practice where, whilst clinical autonomy was valued, there was a sense of team and shared attitudes to patient care. We had a very low turnover of staff and encouraged meetings and communication in what we hoped was a relaxed working environment.

Also the experience we had joining the corporate were, it goes without saying, unique to our situation and the attitudes and approach of the management team.

 

I hope that I can comment from a relatively impartial standpoint despite being pro-takeover from the outset. In addition, part of what I can report comes from the opinions expressed to me from other staff members after 18 months of new ownership.

 

So what has changed? On a day-to-day basis, very little. Bupa Dental has great belief in clinical freedom while remaining aligned with mainstream dental thinking. This extends to a very broad, though not limitless, choice of materials, along with keeping individual dentists’ favoured laboratories open to them. In fact, when the practices meet for CPD evenings, exploring new techniques and materials is actively encouraged. This is not to say that the commercial aspects of the dental business are overlooked, rather that the importance of high clinical standards is a priority. This leads to another plus of operating within a larger group; the depth of clinical experience available across the whole spectrum of general and specialist dentistry. The ability to send an email out across such a large number of dentists asking for opinions cannot be underestimated. What’s more, a larger corporate can market and promote its services, skills and individual practices to a much wider audience than could be achieved by a single practice.

 

I think some of the benefits of working for a large organisation depend on your perspective – for example, a practice owner will drastically reduce their paperwork by selling to a corporate and becoming an associate. In my experience, other members of the team have reported seeing little difference in their administrative responsibilities, or indeed a slight increase in line with the corporate’s emphasis on self audit and appraisal. Whether this is symptomatic of working for a large organisation, or merely representative of the increasing governance faced by all clinical staff, is debatable ­– similarly, some people appreciate the email reminders and others find them intrusive!

 

Ultimately, the fact that the practice I work in is owned by a corporate has made little impact to the way I approach my clinical day – I have retained my clinical freedom and responsibility to patients. However it’s great to know that I have the support of a larger healthcare company backing me up so I can focus on being a dentist.

 

To find out more about the ADG and member groups, please visit http://www.dentalgroups.co.uk

 

NB: The views expressed in this and similar columns by individual ADG members are intended to stimulate constructive debate about current issues in dentistry. Thoughts are the authors’ own and not necessarily those of the ADG.

  7035 Hits
7035 Hits
NOV
08
0

A day in the life: a young associate dentist

A day in the life: a young associate dentist

 

Christine Gordon is a young associate dentist at Putney Bridge Dental Centre in London, a MyDentist practice which is a member of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG). Since graduating from The University of Sheffield in 2012, she has worked in both an independent and now a corporate practice. Here, she discusses her career so far and how the move into corporate dentistry has impacted on her working life…

“I completed my foundation training at an independently-run practice, which I very much enjoyed. It was in North London, with three surgeries. After finishing my foundation training I took a maternity cover position within a corporate; and have since been lucky to secure a full-time position when another associate left. I've been working at my current practice for almost two years now.

“Working in an independent practice was a little different to where I work now. Firstly, I would say the principal had more control over the associates in terms of materials and their hours. I now have increased flexibility regarding both how I work and the products I work with. For example, I can put in a request for the materials I would like to order and, within reason, these are usually authorised so that I can use the materials I prefer.

“For me, one of the main benefits of a corporate is knowing that all the relevant protocols such as health and safety and cross infection control will be followed to a high standard across the board. We have a CQC inspection coming up and I am not concerned about it in the slightest. I can simply get on with my job with total peace of mind and no last-minute panic that the practice won't pass and will need to implement any big changes! 

“Also, when I finished the initial maternity cover with the corporate, there was about a month before my full-time role began and I was worried about having no Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) to do during that period. But then I was told about a nearby practice in the group that I would be able to work with in the meantime. Once you begin working within a corporate, it is easier to pick up more work and opportunities at different locations, should you wish to – which is great.

“At my current practice there is good private potential. I have taken the Inman Aligner course so I can provide simple orthodontic treatment to patients, which has been quite popular. I'm also now offering anti-wrinkle treatments (using Botulinum Toxin) which I'm really enjoying - it helps to keep things interesting. I have a private target every month, separate to my UDA target, so I try to zone my diary to allocate time methodically and ensure I meet both targets. 

“In terms of my typical day, it doesn't differ too much from life in an independent practice. I start at 9am, but try to get in early to review my diary and check any lab work. I took on a list from a dentist who had been there for 15 years, which was a challenge initially as patients were so familiar with her but I think they're used to me now. I see a lot of new patients now too, mostly young professionals, which reflects the area the practice is in; with lots of flats and new builds. My other daily responsibilities are essentially the same as  an independent dentist: working closely with other members of the team to make the patient journey as pleasant as possible and record keeping is very important so I spend time making sure this is accurate. The MyDentist special app reminds me whose notes I still write and this is so helpful, especially when I'm very busy.

“There is a great, friendly atmosphere within my practice – I certainly don’t feel like there is someone miles away, controlling everything, which I think certainly used to be a common misconception regarding dental corporates. I appreciate the clinical support too. We have a Clinical Director and if I have any problems I can just fire off an email and he will help in any way he can. I feel I have access to a lot of people who will help me to develop my career and because I am just three years out of university, this is really important to me. There is obviously a degree of personal preference here, but the strong support network I have found within the dental corporate makes going out into the big, bad world of work a lot less scary for young dentists.”

 

To find out more about the world of ADG please visit http://www.dentalgroups.co.uk

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A worthy cause

A worthy cause

 

 

At this year’s showcase, A-dec gave delegates the opportunity to take part in their Chair Building Puzzle, for a chance win a pair of A-dec stools.

The worthy winner was a member of Leidos – the  procurement team for the MOD – and, selflessly, they opted not to accept the stools, but asked for a donation to a brilliant charity instead.

And, of course, A-dec was more than happy to help out.

Therefore, in lieu of the stools, A-dec will be making a £1,000 donation to Paul King’s ‘Brave the Shave’ challenge, in support of Macmillan cancer support. Paul had  his hair and beard shaved completely off in order to raise money. This is a great cause which will help those who have been affected by this terrible disease.

The whole team at A-dec are humbled by Leidos’ show of generosity – and wish Paul all the best in his challenge. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too cold!

 

 

 

For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit

www.a-dec.co.uk or call on 0800 2332 85

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3199 Hits
NOV
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GDPUK Conference 2016 - A Huge Success - Join us in 2017!

GDPUK Conference 2016 - A Huge Success - Join us in 2017!

 

 
Over 60 members of the GDPUK Community gathered at Hotel Football in Manchester on Friday 4th November to enjoy a day of learning, networking and thinking time away from the dental practice!
 

The mix of education, personal stories and music made for an incredibly diverse and interesting day.

 

 

Chris Tavares remarked;

“Thanks to the GDPUK Team for the absolute wonderful day I had today. Dentistry's been tense lately due to 'non-dental' things. Usually when I go on a course I'm really tired at the end of day due to the intensity of the lectures. Today was different. I really needed a chill out day and today absolutely nailed it. The speakers did a fantastic job keeping to their remit and the delivery was excellent. The topics were all very relevant to dentistry but in, oh so different a way, than the usual intense clinical procedures lectures. It's what I call the 4th Dimension of educational topics. The outside of the box topics. Each speaker spoke for the right length of time and kept us all very much glued to our seats. There was education, there was humour, there were personal journeys, there was music. Very much how the humanity of being a registrant is all about. Each topic was very 'functional' in creating a great chill out, educational and social event. Also great to put so many faces to posters. Unfortunately did not manage to meet everyone.”
 

 

Mike Powell via the GDPUK forum stated:-

“An excellent day with a variety of topics covered, not all "look how excellent my work is"......The catering was also massively better than the norm, fillet of beef with peppercorn sauce anyone? Thanks Tony and all the others involved in organising the day.”
 

 

Tony Jacobs, MD of GDPUK was really pleased with the outcome of the day:-

“We are so pleased with the positive feedback from everyone who attended the conference. As always, it was fantastic to meet old and new faces from the forum. We believe the mix of speakers from within dental circles and a couple from other sectors, helped form a day that was insightful, entertaining, unusual and thought provoking. We look forward to hosting another conference in 2017, which will mark the 20th year of GDPUK.”
 
 
Thanks to all our members who supported the event and thanks to all the sponsors for taking part. Dental Elite, Denplan and DDU all enjoyed the day thoroughly and we appreciate their support which makes a conference like this possible.
 
As you can see the 2016 GDPUK Conference was fantastic but 2017, promises to be even better!
 
If you would like to join us for the 2017 Conference for what will be an awesome day, please follow this link and book today. Further info on speakers can be found on the site.
 
 
 
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Unreasonable behaviour - dental students in the 80s

How did we survive without GDC guidance

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8528 Hits
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An enlightened solution - Dean Hallows

An enlightened solution - Dean Hallows

For dental professionals, the need for an effective lighting solution is paramount. Eyestrain is a common problem; by having to concentrate on a fixed point inside the oral cavity for long periods of time, or by constantly adjusting their sight to the different ambient lights in and outside the oral cavity, dental professionals increase their chance of suffering from aesthenopia.

For years, practitioners have tried to combat this issue with effective lighting. By utilising high-quality products, professionals can not only reduce the risk of eyestrain, but improve the accuracy and consistency of their clinical work.

Traditionally, dentists have used halogen lights to illuminate their patients’ oral cavities; indeed, many still do – but increasingly, these halogen systems are being replaced by LED alternatives. Light emitting diodes have become more and more popular across a wide range of different fields and environments in recent years – from domestic living to clinical and scientific settings – and they do have a number of compelling advantages over other light sources.

 

1. Longevity

LED lights have an outstanding operational lifetime expectancy – approximately 100,000 hours. This equates to around 11 years of continuous operation. In other words, if an LED light is left on for around 8 hours a day it would take about 20 years before the ‘bulb’ would need replacing. In a dental surgery, where the clinical light would only be used during appointment times, the potential longevity of a single fixture is incredible.

 

2. Energy efficiency

Compared to traditional lighting, LED lights are exceptionally efficient. Estimates suggest that high-quality lights are approximately 80-90 per cent more efficient, meaning that almost all of the electricity expended on powering one is converted to light. Only the remaining 10-20 per cent is lost and converted to heat. This will ultimately save a dental practice a significant amount of money on electrical bills and, when considered alongside the life expectancy of a single LED fixture, the savings can be substantial.

 

3. Ecologically friendly

Unlike many other fluorescent light sources, LED lights are completely free of toxic chemicals. As such, they can be easily recycled[1] and enable a dental practice to dramatically cut its carbon footprint. Again, thanks to their exceptionally long life expectancy, an LED light can save the material and production of at least 25 incandescent light bulbs.

 

4. Durability

LED lights are also extremely durable when compared with more traditional lighting solutions. They are particularly resistant to shock and vibrations which, in a dental scenario, can offer real peace of mind.

 

5. Instant lighting

When switched on, an LED light will brighten immediately. This helps save time when performing a dental examination and improves efficiency.

 

6. Frequent switching

Unlike other light fixtures, LED lights are not negatively affected by being switched on and off frequently. In the dental surgery, where a light is being turned on and off many times throughout the day, this is an important consideration.

 

7. Low-voltage

A low-voltage power supply is more than sufficient to power an LED light, which is excellent for safety and more cost effective than other alternatives. 

 

8. Quiet and cool

Thanks to their aforementioned energy-efficiency, LED lights do not produce a great deal of heat. This is not only safer, but also eliminates the need for an integral fan, meaning the whole fixture is quieter during operation. This is a great help for anxious patients, who may be discomforted by the sounds of a dental surgery – and is also less annoying for practitioners who must be around their light for long periods of time.

 

9. Design flexibility

LED lights can be combined in a dynamic range of shapes to produce highly efficient and adaptable illumination solutions – and can offer incredible amounts of control. A well-designed fixture can achieve highly effective, focussed lighting that will allow a dental professional to have complete visual freedom during an examination.

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular on the UK dental market as their advantages are being recognised. It is always best, however, to compare competing brands to ensure the right choice is made – since an LED light will last for the majority of a dentist’s natural career. A light that is ergonomic, effective and easily positioned is ideal, as is one that can be easily integrated into an existing space with little disruption or difficulty.

The LED light from A-dec, for example, is a high-quality lighting solution that adds fluid manoeuvrability, improved lighting for better shade analysis and delivers 25% more illuminance at one fifth of the power consumption.

 

To discover more about the benefits of an LED light, contact the expert team at A-dec UK today.

 

For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit

www.a-dec.co.uk or call on 0800 2332 85

 

 

 

 

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2961 Hits
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Seasonal Stress Busters

Seasonal Stress Busters

 

 

The festive season seems to creep up on us every year. You may try to keep it low key, but it all takes up a lot of time, money and effort and often gives way to ‘seasonal stress.’ On the plus side, online shopping has provided a welcome reprieve from parking problems, trudging around crowded shops and standing in long queues. However, less than one in five people actually look forward to shopping for presents during the lead up to the festive season.[i] Added to this, is the worry of absorbing the extra expenditure - it is believed that most families will spend around £800, mostly on food and drink. There is also more pressure to overspend at this time of year and there is an increase in the proportion of people turning to credit to cover the cost of presents and food.[ii]

We all look forward to having the family together and eagerly waiting for everyone to arrive for the celebrations brings great joy. Nevertheless, some family gatherings can easily turn into an airing of grievances and there is always the worry that one relative could become awkward or drunk. These occasions can become exhausting and overwhelming, with festive cheer turning into festive fear for many people.

The pressure of Christmas can just be too much for some and the mental health charity Mind, states that one in four adults feel anxious about social gatherings during the festive period.[iii] It can be a tough time of year for everyone but if one feels under pressure to be sociable, to join in or to be on good form because everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves, social gatherings and parties can be uncomfortable and overpowering.

A lot of people suffer from low self-esteem or lack of confidence and chatting, dancing or getting up close to others is totally off limits for some individuals.

One of the reasons for this is that around 25 per cent of the entire population suffer from halitosis at some point in their lives[iv] and a great many others believe that they have it. In addition, to cope with the pressure directly associated with the festive season, there is a lot more alcohol and comfort food consumed. Some people even turn to smoking in their hours of need as insecurities become intensified. It is little wonder then that while stressed and tired, people might forget or skim over their normal oral health routines and end up with embarrassingly unpleasant smelling breath.

Nine out of ten cases of malodourous breath have an oral cause,[v] which is why dental professionals are ideally placed to help. When delivering instructions to improve oral hygiene levels, you can also recommend CB12 mouthwash to prevent unpleasant breath for up to 12 hours. Used each morning as a daily oral deodorant, this clinically proven formula is quick and easy to use - ideal during the busy holiday season. You could also encourage your patients to carry CB12 boost chewing gum - discreet mouth refreshment to power through any worrying breath inhibitions after meals and on the go.

 

Save your patients from ‘seasonal stress’ with sound advice and recommendations to bring little more cheer and good health to this time of year.

 

For more information about CB12 and how it could benefit your patients, please visit www.cb12.co.uk

 

 



[i] Ipsos MORI. Dealtime Christmas Shopping Survey. November 2000. https://ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=1505 [Accessed 7th September 2016]

[ii] Money Advice Trust 2016. Borrowing up this Christmas, as one in four feel pressure to overspend. http://www.moneyadvicetrust.org/media/news/Pages/Borrowing-up-this-Christmas-as-one-in-four-feel-pressure-to-overspend.aspx [Accessed 7th September 2016]

[iii] Mind. Brits experiencing social anxiety at Christmas. December 2015. Poll conducted by Populus. http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/brits-experiencing-social-anxiety-at-christmas/#.V9AC32QrIlI [Accessed 7th September 2016]

[iv] Franziska Struch et al. Self-reported halitosis and gastro-esophageal reflux disease in the general population. J Gen Intern Med 23(3):260–6 DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0486-8 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2359469/pdf/11606_2007_Article_486.pdf [Accessed 7th September 2016]

[v] Andrea Zürcher, et al, Dept of Oral Surgery, University of Basel. 'Findings, Diagnoses and Results of a Halitosis Clinic over a Seven Year Period'. Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. [Swiss Monthly Journal of Dentistry] 3/2012 Vol. 122 pp. 205-210 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22418723 [Accessed 7th September 2016]

 

  3165 Hits
3165 Hits
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How The Other Half Live

How the other half lives

  8343 Hits
Recent comment in this post
Graham John Nichols

This is so true

An amusing blog except it is so true. I also work for a corporate and recognise the scenarios. I wonder how they get away with it.... Read More
Sunday, 06 November 2016 07:42
8343 Hits
OCT
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Keep ‘Up To Date’ with Oral-B Seminars

Keep ‘Up To Date’ with Oral-B Seminars

 

 

Oral-B has released the dates for their next series of Up To Date seminars.  Each of these popular evening sessions will be comprised of two 45-minute lectures.

Prof Nicola West will be exploring clinical strategies to prevent and manage dental erosion. She will unveil the aetiology, susceptibility and impact of erosive toothwear as well as giving advice on preventative management and when to refer. (pictured below)

 

Dr Phil Ower will be reviewing the aetiology and classification of gingival recession, showing how to manage recession defects for different groups of patients and giving guidance on when it is appropriate to refer patients and what specialist care may be appropriate. (picture below)

Clinical dental professionals are invited to attend this complimentary CPD accredited evening event at one of seven locations:

 

London -3rd November 2016 – Hilton Hotel (Watford)

 

Edinburgh - 14th November 2016 – Houston Hotel

 

Bristol – 21st November 2016 – Aztec Hotel

 

Birmingham - 20th February 2017 – St Johns Hotel (Solihull)

 

Leeds - 9th March 2017 – Village Hotel (North)

 

Manchester – 27th April 2017 – Copthorne Hotel

 

Newcastle - 4th May 2017 – Hilton Hotel (Gateshead)

 

As well as two and a half hours of verifiable CPD every delegate is invited to enjoy a complimentary meal at the beginning of the evening.  Registration and buffet is from 5.45pm with the first lecture starting at 6.30pm.  The evening will finish at 9.00pm.

 

Spaces at these events are limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.  If you would like to attend register online at www.dentalcare.co.uk/uptodateseminars.

For enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0870 2421850.

 

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10513 Hits
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GSK champions erosive tooth wear and Dentine Hypersensitivity identification

GSK champions erosive tooth wear and Dentine Hypersensitivity identification

 

 

 

GSK is leading a campaign to raise awareness among dentists, DCPs and patients about two common conditions – erosive tooth wear and Dentine Hypersensitivity (DH).

Over ¾ of British adults - 77% exhibit signs of tooth wear and moderate tooth wear has increased1. It can lead to changes in tooth shape, yellowing of teeth and translucency at the tooth edge. You can now download the BEWE app for a comprehensive guide to erosive tooth wear diagnosis and condition management.

 

The optimised fluoride formulation of Pronamel® strengthens your patients’ demineralised enamel to help protect against the effects of erosive tooth wear2

 

DH is characterised by short, sharp pain in response to stimuli and needs to be diagnosed differentially. 41.9% of adults have experienced it3 and, according to the Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire (DHEQ), over 70% of sufferers consider the sensations to take pleasure out of eating and drinking4.

 

Sensodyne® Repair and Protect combines NovaMin® technology and sodium fluoride in a single formulation, which creates an even harder hydroxyapatite-like layer over the exposed dentine and within the exposed dentine tubules2, 5-7, providing sustained protection and relief.

 

For more information on these conditions and other CPD materials, visit: https://www.gsk-dentalprofessionals.co.uk/

 

 

 

Trade marks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.

CHGBI/CHSEN/0023/16

 

 

References:

1.        Disease and related disorders – a report from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009, The Information Centre for health and social care, 2011

2.        Fowler C et al J Clin Dent 2006; 17(4): 100 - 105

3.        Addy M. Int Dent J 2002; 52: 367-375.

4.        GSK Data on File RH02026

5.        Greenspan DC et al. J Clin Dent 2010; 21: 61-65.

6.        La Torre G and Greenspan DC. J Clin Dent 2010; 21(Spec Iss): 72-76.

7.        Earl JS et al. J Clin Dent 2011; 22(3): 62-67(A). 

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GSK Online Education Modules help DHCPs gain over 3000 hours of free verifiable CPD

GSK Online Education Modules help DHCPs gain over 3000 hours of free verifiable CPD

 

 

In April 2016 GSK, the manufacturer of Corsodyl®, Poligrip®, Sensodyne® and Pronamel®, launched four free certified CPD modules. Each provides 1.5 hours of verifiable CPD and so far over 2000 modules have been completed, meaning GSK has provided over 3000 hours of free, verifiable CPD to DHCPs across the country.

The modules focus on a range of topics including gum disease and the Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE), the effects of tooth loss and dentures for patients, the mode of action of NovaMin® in Sensodyne® Repair & Protect and the Basic Erosive Wear Examination. All modules can be completed remotely at a pace that suits the user. There is a selection of multiple-choice questions at the end of each module and, upon answering the questions correctly, the user is issued a certificate for completing the CPD module. 

GSK sees delivering quality education and CPD as a core part of its mission and strives to continuously meet the needs of DHCPs through online learning as well as face to face lectures.

Access to all modules, as well as information on GSK products, is available at www.gsk-dentalprofessionals.co.uk

 

-ENDS-

 

Product Information

Corsodyl Mint Mouthwash

 

Active Ingredient: Chlorhexidine digluconate. Indications: Plaque inhibition; gingivitis; maintenance

of oral hygiene; post periodontal surgery or treatment; aphthous ulceration; oral candida. Legal Category: GSL. Licence Holder: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (UK) Trading Limited, Brentford, TW8 9GS, U.K.

 

Information about this product, including adverse reactions, precautions, contra-indications and method of use can be found at:

 

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/21648

 

Trade marks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.

CHGBI/CHGOC/0036/16

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The world’s only invisible dual retention system – meeting the needs of dentist and patient

The world’s only invisible dual retention system – meeting the needs of dentist and patient

 

 

The SOLID Retainer System – it stands for Single-visit Orthodontic Lingual and Invisible Dual Retainer System – is an all-new concept in orthodontic retention. 

 

In a bid to prevent post-alignment relapse, SOLID combines an invisible fixed-lingual retainer with a removable acrylic retainer, which means clinicians can place two different types of retainer in only one appointment.

 

And even better, SOLID has revolutionised retainer placement so dentists can now place this retainer WITH the orthodontic fixed brackets still in place on the teeth, thus ensuring zero tooth movement before or after the traditional bracket de-bond process.

 

The system also satisfies advice from members of both the British Orthodontic Society and American Association of Orthodontics who recommend provision of fixed-lingual and removable retention for more security in limiting the potential of orthodontic relapse.

 

Created by Dr Thomas Sealey, the Cfast SOLID Retention System is a hybrid-designed retainer that utilises fibre-reinforced composite technology and modern bonding techniques to create a virtually invisible fixed lingual retainer, that’s complemented by a traditional removable acrylic retainer.

 

Thomas explains: ‘I developed the SOLID retainer to be placed before brackets are removed to ensure absolutely no tooth movement can occur from your final and perfect end positioning. The SOLID retainer can also be used after clear positioner orthodontics. In this scenario, once you have achieved the correct alignment of your final positioner, you can simply send the last 3D-printed model to Cfast and they will make you the SOLID retainer – you don’t even need to see the patient for an impression.

 

‘Without having to remove orthodontic brackets, you can place and polish a SOLID retainer in less than 10 minutes.’

 

He adds: ‘Cfast SOLID is not only the fastest placed invisible dual-retainer system in the world, it also provides a second removable Essix retainer – this spare retainer is also a great sales point for the patient as new retainers can usually cost them around £100.

 

‘The SOLID invisible retainers are kept at least 1.5mm from the incisal edge and from the gum level to ensure ease of cleaning. In the past, the final cosmetic result was often spoiled with visible wire retainers or ceramic retainers that made the lower teeth look twice as thick as they should. SOLID is discreet, easy to clean, totally smooth and requires no additional cost to the dentist or patient. As the “ortho-dentist” has evolved to provide short-term tooth alignment for the cosmetically focused patient, so orthodontic retention has evolved to meet the needs of the modern patient in the form of SOLID.’

 

• For more about SOLID, visit www.cfastresults.com/how-does-it-work/solid-retainer/, call 0844 209 7035 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  9780 Hits
9780 Hits
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Have you ever microwaved your ice cream? Find out why your patients might!

Have you ever microwaved your ice cream? Find out why your patients might!

 

GSK, manufacturers of Sensodyne®, invite you to join their webinar event – ‘How can we measure the true patient impact of sensitive teeth?’ on Thursday 10th November from 6pm.

The presentation will be delivered by Professor Peter Robinson and is based on insights from the development of the ground-breaking Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire (DHEQ).

To register for the webinar online visit https://engage.vevent.com/rt/gskevents/index.jsp?seid=1119     NOW!

As many as 1 in 3 patients may be suffering from Dentine Hypersensitivity (DH).1 Research using the DHEQ amongst over 900 people highlighted the impacts that patients with the condition may experience:2

·         70% consider the sensations to take the pleasure out of eating and drinking*

·         59% try to avoid pain by biting food into small pieces*

·         32% think that having sensitive teeth makes them feel old*

 

Find out more about the impacts on your patients with Dentine Hypersensitivity by joining the webinar. Register online now to ensure your place –

visit https://engage.vevent.com/rt/gskevents/index.jsp?seid=1119.

 

*pooled analysis of 7 clinical studies involving 905 participants aged 18-65 (mean 39.7 years) in Canada, Europe and USA before treatment. All participants who gave the ratings of 5, 6 or 7 (agree a little, agree, strongly agree) on a 7-point impact scale were considered to have the impact in question.

 

 

References:

1.      Addy M Int Dent J 2002; 52: 367-375

2.      GSK data on file, RH02026

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Caring for the Dental Team

 If You Find An Injured Co-Worker, Ring 011 456 5674

  8165 Hits
8165 Hits
OCT
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Denplan wins ‘Best Dental Benefits Provider’ for the seventh year running

Denplan wins ‘Best Dental Benefits Provider’ for the seventh year running

 

 

Denplan, the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, is celebrating another successful award win, after winning ‘Best Dental Benefits Provider’ for the seventh consecutive year at the 2016 Health Insurance Awards.

 

Held on Thursday 13 October at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the Health Insurance Awards gathered together around 900 industry leaders in the health insurance and protection industry to recognise the achievements of exceptional individuals, providers, and intermediaries across a range of categories.

 

At the glamorous black tie event, guests celebrated the best achievements in the industry and were treated to a champagne reception and three course meal. They were entertained throughout the evening by popular prime-time TV presenter Stephen Mulhearn.

Pam Whelan, Head of Corporate at Denplan, is in centre right with a pink flower dress on holding the prestigious award

 

Head of Corporate at Denplan, Pam Whelan, said: “We’re over the moon and extremely proud to win the award for Best Dental Benefits Provider for the 7th year in a row. The fact that these awards are won thanks to the votes from intermediaries means a great deal to us, and we would like to thank everyone that voted again for us this year.  It’s important that we don’t get complacent so we are always looking for fresh inspiration in order to continually develop new and innovative ways to enhance our services for the employee benefit market. We are also keen to continue our success in the future and achieve an eighth award so will continue to work hard to support our much valued intermediaries and clients throughout the year.”

 

For more information about Denplan’s range of corporate plans, please call 01962 828 008 or go to www.denplan.co.uk/companies

  9792 Hits
9792 Hits
OCT
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NHS Dental Stats made simple

Statistics

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7550 Hits
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Intuitive practice management system solution proves popular with visitors at 2016 BDIA Showcase …

Intuitive practice management system solution proves popular with visitors at 2016 BDIA Showcase …

 

Last weekend marked the return of the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) annual showcase.

And for those interested in reviewing how best to boost efficiencies and the profit of their practice with the help of practice management system solutions, then a visit to Systems for Dentists on stand J34 proved time very well spent.

As one of the longest established practice management system design specialists in the UK, the enterprising company offered an exciting forum for Dentists looking to gain an in depth insight into their latest technologies and innovations.

 

Not only was it an opportunity to meet personally with members of their team, but for many, it proved the perfect forum in which to get hands on with the latest developments in practice management system solutions.

And in addition to getting close up and personal with all that was new from the latest version of their flagship system software, to the benefits it stands to offer, the dynamic team of developers were certainly looking to inspire and impress with everything exceptional about the latest interfaces and functionality on offer this year.

As beyond all that was practical and leading edge about their carefully designed practice management solutions, the backdrop of stand J34 at BDIA also provided all the knowledge visiting Dentists needed to increase their practice bottom line through the help of their V6 Practice Management System.

And for those dental practices who managed to attend, taking valuable time out of their busy day, the BDIA Dental Showcase presented a great platform once again to meet alongside over 350 leading dental companies and to provide the perfect setting to re-ignite a shared passion for the UK Dental market.

Ranging from global brands to industry newcomers, Dentists were presented with one of the widest selections of industry related products and innovations demonstrated under one roof in the UK this autumn.

As a well-respected and credible arena for providing the opportunity for dentistry teams to immerse in the present and future of our industry, the BDIA Showcase 2016 was certainly a great arena in which to explore new innovations, and to discover everything brilliant about Systems for Dentists practice management system design.

As ever, Systems for Dentists were just one exhibitor who relished the opportunity to exhibit to showcase their portfolio. And with a genuine care for speaking to practitioners about how they could look to partner with them to drive up profits and further streamline their practice management efficiencies.

And for those Dentists looking to review how practice management could make a valuable difference to their practice moving forward, not only that, but to keep pace with the industry and to catch up with friends and associates, they were sure to fuel not only their knowledge of practice management system benefits, thanks to the help of Systems for Dentists experts, but also a love of all that makes the UK dentistry market so special!

Systems for Dentists will return to exhibit at BDIA 2017 live from stand I60 at The NEC to present and showcase all that’s new and exciting as they continue to shape and develop their practice management system technologies for the benefit of the UK dental market.

 

 

For further information, contact:

Nathan Ross at Systems for Dentists on 0845 643 2828

Email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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BDIA Dental Showcase – Another great success

BDIA Dental Showcase – Another great success

BDIA Dental Showcase has again delivered a show worthy of its reputation as the premier event on the dental industry calendar.

 

With many exhibitors reporting excellent on-stand sales, visitor figures for this year’s Showcase have also shown that the dental industry is in good health with practices and practitioners happy to apply many of the technological advances they have discovered at BDIA Dental Showcase 2016. 

 

Michael Cann, President of the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) and Managing Director of Septodont, is delighted with the numbers of visitors that they have seen at this year’s show and said, “Our stand this year has focused on our new online CPD training that will allow practices to be compliant with the 2013 Sharps Legislation using our new needle-stick injury prevention devices, which has had a very good response from visitors.”

Sonia Tracey, Vice President of the BDIA and Managing Director of W&H, commented, “The visitors we have seen at our stand this year have done their homework before coming to the show, which makes our work so much better as we can offer them more detailed information and products that are useful back in their practice.  This has also allowed us to spend quality time with them to ensure they get all the information they need.  We couldn’t have asked for better.”

 

Charlie Fuller, Sales and Marketing Manager at OralB, is very happy with year’s Showcase, saying “BDIA Dental Showcase is an incredible event for us.  It gives us one-to-one time with practitioners who work with our products and who will be advising patients on which of our products will work best for them.”

Alun Dabner, Brand Manager of Colgate, said “We have had an excellent show this year with visitor and sales figures at our stand looking really healthy.  Our on-stand lectures have been very well attended which has fitted in really well with our education focus for the show.”

 

With the announcement that next year’s show will be organised under the auspices of the Mark Allen Group and George Warman Publications, 2017 will certainly be a very exciting year to look forward to.

 

Related news story on GDPUK - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/2352-showcase-event-sold-by-bdia

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The Corsodyl® Daily range – helping to keep gums healthy

The Corsodyl® Daily range – helping to keep gums healthy

 

                                                                                                                       

 

According to Delivering Better Oral Health, daily effective plaque removal is more important to periodontal health than tooth scaling and polishing by the clinical team.¹ As a dental professional, you are in a position to recommend a good daily oral care routine.

Recommend the Corsodyl® Daily range to support your work and help keep patients’ gums healthy. The range includes:

-          Corsodyl® Daily mouthwashes

-          Corsodyl® Daily toothbrushes

-          Corsodyl® Daily Expanding Floss

-          Corsodyl® Daily Gentle Tape

For further support, order your Gum Care Pack today for patient and expert educational materials. Visit www.gsk-dentalprofessionals.co.uk to order your pack.

                 

 

Reference: 1. Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention. Third edition. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/367563/DBOHv32014OCTMainDocument_3.pdf. Accessed on 20/07/2016.

 

Trade marks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.

 

 

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Stories

Stories

 

 

Previously on this very blog, I have written about the power of storytelling but how we use stories and imagery are still incredibly important when we get up in front of an audience.

If you want people to remember what you say, tell a story. Paint a big visual picture. Don’t just say you deliver great customer service, find a surprising or funny story about how you delivered amazing customer service. Link it to our emotions.

This evening is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, which is a 25 hour fast that commences at sunset. The central themes of the day are atonement and repentance. At certain points of the service (both tonight and tomorrow) there will be a sermon from the Rabbi or Minister of the Synagogue. At every synagogue around the world there will be similar themes. From experience of some bad sermons over the years, those that keep the attention of the audience will involve a number of stories that can be linked together to form an overall message that the speaker wants to get over to their audience or congregation. If parts of the biblical texts or transcripts are just read out then people will just switch off. Stories will keep the hungry audience, entertained and engaged!

Groups don’t need more facts. We definitely need more stories – especially good ones.

So with 4 weeks to go to the GDPUK Conference, I want to remind you that all our speakers on the day will have excellent stories to tell, that we believe will keep you engaged and interested. The conference promises to be slightly different to a normal day at a dental conference. Why not come along and join us. We look forward to seeing you on the 4th of November. There will be plenty of chance on the day....for us all to share our stories.

Thanks for reading :)

 

Speaker lineup - www.gdpuk.com/conference/speakers

Conference and ticket information - www.gdpuk.com/conference/overview

 

Quote taken from this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/coolinsights/16461066958

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An appointment with success

An appointment with success

 

Did you manage to talk to the Welltime team at this year’s BDIA Dental Showcase? If you didn’t, you truly missed out.

That’s because the expert Welltime team were showcasing the innovative online booking system, AppointMentor. Delegates were keen to learn how this state-of-the-art solution enables patients to book, reschedule and cancel appointments easily, from anywhere, at any time.

The benefits of such a system were clear. Providing greater accessibility for patients, AppointMentor helps practices boost their business. Easily integrated into a practice’s existing website, the clever system allows a practice to remain in complete control of their appointment book, whilst giving patients the control and flexibility to choose the appointment slots that are best for them.

Delegates were enthusiastic about the AppointMentor option and how it could help practices take the next step into the future of dentistry.

If you didn’t manage to talk to the Welltime team at the BDIA Dental Showcase, you don’t need to worry. They are always happy to help – simply contact them today to discuss your options.

 

For more information, contact the Welltime team on 07999 991 337, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at www.welltime.co.uk.

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Balancing Probability

Case Examiners

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Employed or self-employed, that is the question

Employed or self-employed, that is the question

The question of employment status regularly crops up amongst the dental community. Most consider associates to be self-employed because that is the industry norm and how HMRC view associates. However, that may not always be the case.

It is a common misconception that because a contract states it is ‘self-employed’ that will be the end of the matter. However, from an Employment Tribunal perspective the question is a question of fact; not just what is set out in the documents; meaning your contract may not be worth the paper it’s written on.

Given the vast amount of employment rights that employees have, getting this wrong can be a costly mistake to make.  

In addition to ensuring you get it right from the outset, in a modern society people want more flexibility in how they work; as a result hygienists, technicians and therapist are seeking self-employed opportunities. Being able to offer such roles could make you more appealing as an employer, helping you attract and retain the best possible talent for your business.

In this blog we take a look at the legal test of employment status for the purpose of an Employment Tribunal, the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

The question of employment status is a minefield.  It is therefore not surprising that this issue regularly pops up before Employment Tribunals. There is no hard and fast rule that can be used as the issue is always case sensitive. Judges have tried to give guidance and here we set out the points you should ask when considering the position within your practice. 

It should be noted that the test for employment status for the purposes of employment rights is different to the test that HMRC use. In addition, HMRC allow some professions, such a dentistry, to utilise self-employment status, even if the Tribunals may not agree with this. This article only deals with the question of employment status for the purposes of employment rights.

Types of Employment Status

There are three types of employment status:

1.      Employee:

2.      Worker;

3.      Self-employed.

Employees have the best employment protection, workers have some protection, and those who are self-employed have very little protection. However, those who are self-employed have much more freedom as to how and when they work, compared with employees. As such there are pros and cons with each category, and which is right for you will depend on individual/business circumstances.

You can find out what rights workers and employees have here.

Identifying Status

When looking at whether the individual is an employee, Tribunals will ask:

  1. Must the person personally provide the service or can they send a substitute?
  2. Is the company obliged to provide work and is the person obliged to accept it?
  3. How much control does the company have over the individual?
  4. Who has the risk in relation to the business?
  5. Who provides and maintains the tools?
  6. What degree of management does the individual have in the business?
  7. Does the individual profit from performance?
  8. How is the individual paid?
  9. Does the individual receive holiday and sick pay?

This is not an exhaustive list and the Tribunal does not approach it as a tick box exercise. They consider all the facts and then determine the point. This is why following the industry norm may not always be the best approach, especially with the introduction of corporates and chains.

For worker status there are just three questions:

  1. Must the person personally provide the service or can they send a substitute?
  2. Is the company obliged to provide work and is the person obliged to accept it?
  3. Was the status of the "employer" under the contract that of a customer? 

There is no definition of a self-employed person. They are simply anyone who doesn’t fit into either of the above two categories.

In Issue 12 of JFH Law's Dental Bulletin we highlighted the case of the Hospital Medical Group Limited v Westwood [2012] EWCA Civ 1005 in which the Court of Appeal held that a GP working as a self-employed independent contractor for a private clinic was a worker, even though they had two other positions elsewhere. In our opinion, this case has a lot of similarities to dentists and highlights the dangers of getting it wrong.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

First and foremost make sure the contract reflects the true position of the relationship between the practice and the individual. If you try to avoid the question and/or use pro-forma contracts, the Tribunal will see through this and will scrutinise the matter in detail, potentially leaving you with a hefty legal bill and a payment of compensation to make. Many pro-forma associate contracts try to deal with all eventualities and refer to both NHs and private work. Remember one size does not fit all.

And vice versa; if you have spent money on a contract to reflect a self-employment relationship, make sure what is said in the contract is actually being carried out. If your contract states the individual can send a substitute then you must allow this. Whether this right should be unfettered is likely to depend on how the clause is worded. Given your duties as a dental practice, you will need some assurances as to who the substitute is. If you can avoid a clause that allows you to vet any locums but states a minimum standard of substitute this will give you less control and will make the contract less likely to be deemed an employment one.

As a dental practice you will no doubt have a number of policies and procedures in place for running your business. Make sure you distinguish the ones that apply to employees (mostly likely all of them) and the ones that apply to those who are workers or self-employed. This may mean having a separate set of documents for those who are self-employed in certain areas, such as conduct or performance. However, overall the cost of amending policies compared to the cost of litigation will be worth it.  

If you want advice on the status of anyone in your workforce or need assistance with re-drafting contracts or documents, please contact Laura Pearce on 0207 388 1658 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Image by Caitlin Childs under CC licence.

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Are You Struggling to Recruit?

Are You Struggling to Recruit?

At the end of 2015, there were 41,095 dentists registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) – a small increase from the previous year.[i] Despite these growing numbers there is evidence to suggest that some practices are struggling to recruit associates. This is particularly true for those offering NHS services.

One of the reasons behind this is a shortcoming of dentists with Performer Numbers, which means there is an undersupply of licensed candidates available to work in the NHS. Obtaining a Performer Number can be somewhat of a long winded and drawn out process with a lot of paperwork involved.

Because the process can be time-consuming and practices are often on a tight schedule, employers can sometimes end up just requesting applicants that already have a Performer Number. As a result, some dentists end up getting overlooked and practices miss out on taking on a promising individual that could have been an asset to the business. Smaller, more rural practices on the other hand are much more likely to offer a job to someone without a Performer Number due to lack of choice. As I’ve seen many times before, though, these practices run the risk of an employee handing in their resignation shortly after receiving their Performer Number to pursue a job in the city.

Because UK dentists automatically graduate with a Performer Number after the completion of their foundation training, there are no restrictions as they enter the world of employment – unless they leave the UK for 12 months, in which case their number is often archived and they are back to square one. In contrast, some foreign applicants have to pass the overseas registration exam (ORE) before they can register with the GDC, apply for their Performer Number and take on jobs. For some, this process can take up to two years and leaves a number of dentists without a job and practices without great applicants.

The other possible reason why practices occasionally struggle to find suitable staff despite a superabundance of dentists is that too many applicants either require mentorship or don’t have enough experience. At the end of the day practices have UDAs that must be completed and if a dentist with little experience cannot meet their allocated target, the practice will end up with a UDA deficit. In my experience, NHS practices also tend to prefer dentists with UK experience and knowledge of the NHS and UDA systems.

Then there is the matter of dentists that are looking to specialise somewhere down the line. It can be difficult for a general practice to take on someone who has ambition to become a specialist, because they are either going to leave or request that they go part-time to practise elsewhere. As such, some businesses are reluctant to take on such individuals, which in turn means they are required to consider applicants that might actually be less suitable for the vacancy.

And that’s not to mention the impact that competition has upon the recruitment process, not just from an associates perspective but also from an employers. To attract the best dentists in the profession, practices are now offering what is known as a golden hello – a one off payment of anywhere between £1,000 and £10,000 to entice them into joining the practice. This is usually tied in with a clause so that if they leave within the first 24 months of their contract, they’ll be required to pay that money back.

We have also noticed a rise in the price being offered to dentists per UDA, which is also likely to attract a high calibre of ambitious dentists. Before, the going rate was £10 per unit in most cities and towns. In an effort to make contracts more appealing to top tier candidates, however, some practices are now offering £10.50 to £11.00 per UDA – and that number could well creep up over the coming months. The other popular financial incentive is to offer commission for referring a patient to the hygienist.

A tactic used by larger, more established practices is to offer more clinical freedom to associates looking for a less regimented work environment. From what I’ve seen, the practices that tend to be most successful are usually those that are more forward thinking in their approach with staff. This includes allowing staff to have more flexibility in their working hours to attend training and to continue with their studies.

It is also important to remember to be forthcoming with applicants about the patients that are on the books, for instance, the ratio of private to NHS, demographics and so on. This can help to give them an idea of what it would be like working for the practice.

With so many factors to take into consideration, recruiting an associate is no easy feat. For that reason it can be prudent to enlist the services of a specialist agency such as Dental Elite. With the right help and expertise, the profession can operate at its full potential.

For more information on Dental Elite visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01788 545 900

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GDPUK Conference - Music announced

GDPUK Conference - Music announced
 
The GDPUK Conference in Manchester on the 4th of November was promised to be slightly different to the standard dental conference. We are pleased to announce the addition of the musician and artist Gideon Conn to the lineup on the day. Below you will find a short bio of what he will bring to the event in November.
 
Gideon Conn is a singer-songwriter, originally from Manchester but currently based in London. He tours extensively around the UK, having played at many UK festivals including Glastonbury Festival. Gideon is also an accomplished painter, drawer and sculptor, Gideon sells his artwork and accepts commissions through his website and his official Facebook page.
 
Conn's songwriting combines fingerpicking acoustic playing with jazz-inspired chord progressions and hip-hop rhythms. His vocal delivery encompasses singing, rapping and scatting. His music varies between a synth-laden modern sound and a more lo-fi production. He takes inspiration from a wide range of influences, primarily in soul and jazz music, and has expressed admiration for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Badly Drawn Boy, OutKast, Nat King Cole and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
 
At the GDPUK Conference, Gideon will be performing two short acoustic sets where he will showcase his range of talent. He will also be doing some drawings of the day in his unique style.
 
 
For further information on the day and the line up of speakers, please follow this link - www.gdpuk.com/conference/overview
 
If you would like to purchase tickets for the conference - click here
Further information on Gideon can be found on his facebook page
 
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Its OK, I'm listening

What we say, what the patient hears

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Missed Opportunity

Missed Opportunity

Missed opportunity?

 

The Chief Dental Officer for NHS England recently found herself at the forefront of dental media storm. Playfully referred to as “Recallgate” her reported comments drew widespread criticism across a range of the profession’s leading Clinicians, and a lame response through her PR Outlet, Dentistry Online.

All this arose from her presence at the NHS Expo on a stage with some leading colleagues of the Medical and allied professions for a question and answer session.

Expo is an interesting gathering of the great and the good from the world of the NHS and industry.  The proudly proclaim

Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016 is a unique event that showcases innovation and celebrates the people who are changing the NHS, with high-profile speakers and a real focus on learning and sharing.

The NHS you’ll see at Expo on 7 and 8 September is a forward-thinking organisation, staffed by clinicians and managers who welcome innovations in technology and information because they recognise the difference this will make to their patients’ lives. Expo also welcomes and involves partners from across the public, voluntary and commercial sectors, recognising and promoting the role they play in keeping people and communities healthy.

Health and Care Innovation Expo attracts around 5,000 people across two days, the majority of whom are leaders and managers with real ability to lead and drive change in health and social care

 

So when the opportunity for Dr Hurley to speak, she chose to focus on  one of the most exciting developments in dentistry.

 

The Recall Interval.

 

What she said of course was hardly earth moving.

Ration the availability of NHS dentistry for the healthy in order to create space in the system for those who are not healthy and have higher needs.  This is hardly big news, is certainly not innovative, and of course was not presented as rationing by the back door. Instead it was reminder of the NIHCE Guidelines and an opportunity for some predictable side swiping at dentist.

In particular Roy Lilley made the really quite amusing quip that “Dentistry has become a rich man's hobby” The former NHS trust chairman Roy Lilley went on: “It has gone off the high street into lavish surroundings.”  

Thanks Mr Lilley, if your understanding in depth of dentistry reflects your understanding of medicine, the NHS is safe in your hands.  Oh, you are not a manager anymore?

You may follow Mr Lilley on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RoyLilley and contact him direct at @RoyLilley. Judging by his response to the leading BDA member Dr Eddie Crouch taking him to take, he only has a sense of humour on a public stage. Judging by his activity, he has given up NHS Management in favour of tweeting …  83,300 in 7½ years and counting!!

 

But look: there is a serious point here

 

Dentistry needs a Cheerleader

Mr Lilley is patently one of many self-appointed cheerleaders for the NHS and its achievements. Good on him. Nice money if you can get it

Dr Hurley had half a chance to really put out there what dentistry as a microbusiness, brimming with technology, can achieve for people. She could have even homed in on the Infant Caries crisis and its attendant GA costs. But no… she chose …. RECALLS!! 

The media just loved her use of the MOT analogy and the Car Mechanic.  If that is the case, I presume that Dr Hurley sees herself as in charge of Service Reception.

On a quiet news day, just feed the hacks a dental story. Works every time!

While smoking is on the decrease, and lifestyle amongst the healthy is improving, there is a section of the population who do not see a dentist and for whom Oral Cancer is a rising trend. If you are going to keep your teeth for 80+ years of adult life, getting the health of the mouth optimal and the habits established when young are critical.

 

What opportunity did we miss?

 

No mention of 3D CAD CAM Dental technology [self-invested by the laboratories and dentists – no Government subsidy there]

No mention of the investment dentist as business owners make in their facilities – no government subsidy there, and by and large no financial crisis inflated by excessive management layers.

No mention of the amazing results being offered to rehabilitate oral function using all-on-4 and all-on-6 techniques.

No mention of the amazing dental implant industry. Not a Government subsidy in sight.

No mention of the predictability of endodontics and periodontics being driven by technology of instrumentation and scientific understanding of the biology, and the ever stronger links to general health.  Little Government input there.

No mention of the aesthetic desire of the wider public now being met by a host of non-invasive whitening systems allied to orthodontics. No Government funding there.

No mention of the unsung achievement of orthodontics in lifting the psychologic wellbeing of younger patients by creating the smile that allows a young person the mature into a confident go getting adult.  OK some Government input here.

No mention of the parafunctional diagnosis meaning that dentist can frequently solve chronic pain issues long before the team of neurologists, physicians and chronic pain clinics with their MRI scans and raft of blood tests fail to diagnose and simply write the patient off to a lifetime of expensive medication.

No mention of the almost eliminated need to use mercury containing restorative materials nowadays.

No mention of the fact that Caries is preventable, and excessive sugar for infants is akin to smoking.f course no mention of all of this occurring painfree on nervous patients in one of the most difficult to access, most biologically hostile  parts of the body.  Diistinct lack of real funding here.

 

No, our CDO in her massive role on that stage at NHS Expo chose to ramble on about a 2-year recall.

We may think Mr Lilley is a “bit of a plonker Rodney” but dentistry needs someone like him.

Dentistry needs a cheerleader to shout our achievements from the roof top, and remind people that nearly all of them are self-funded by dentists and not subsidised by the government at all.

Sadly, Dr Hurley has missed her vocation in the role, choosing instead to follow her Civil Service guide on “How not to rock the boat”

I wonder if there is someone out there , possibly many of you, who could cheerlead our profession? Someone who, like Mr Roy Lilley, is so noisy, so irritating as to be impossible to ignore?

Please step forwards if you are those persons ...

 

So it’s down to you.  Will YOU be the professions cheereleader?

 

Have YOU done your bit to cheerlead for our proud profession today?

If not, crack on.  Our younger colleagues will depend on it in the future.

 

 

NHS Expo Programme
https://www.eventsforce.net/dods/frontend/reg/tDailyAgendaAlt.csp?pageID=1788724&eventID=5272&page=dailyAgendaalt.csp&traceRedir=2&eventID=5272

The Innovate stage hosted

Sir Bruce Keogh and the Chief Professional Officers
(Main stage sessions)
10:00 - 10:50 in Innovate Stage

Sue Hill - Chief Scientific Officer
Sara Hurley - Chief Dental Officer, NHS England
Sir Bruce Keogh - National Medical Director, NHS England
Suzanne Rastrick - Chief Allied Health Professions Officer , NHS England
Keith Ridge - Chief Pharmacy Officer

 

Sarah Hurley responded
http://www.dentistry.co.uk/2016/09/09/cdo-responds-to-six-month-check-up-media-furore/

The origins of the something-gate language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_scandal

https://www.gdpuk.com/forum/gdpuk-forum/cdo-honeymoon-is-over-22896#p253148
Since the recall speech last week ["recallgate"], the profession has realised who's side she is on, who pays the salary and benefits of the CDO.

The honeymoon period is over.

GDPUK has blogs from
Alun Rees
https://www.gdpuk.com/news/bloggers/entry/1738-cdo-shows-her-true-colours

@DentistGoneBadd

https://www.gdpuk.com/news/bloggers/entry/1741-the-cdo-speaks

Simon Thackeray
https://www.gdpuk.com/news/bloggers/entry/1742-the-honeymoon-is-over

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Those were the days

Fings ain't what they used to be.

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GDC Watch Summer 2016

GDC Watch Summer 2016

Having been somewhat distracted by the school holidays, my latest blog considers some of the cases that managed to pique my interest, and gathers my collective thoughts during the months of both July and August. So that you are looking through the same lens, I’ll start off with the ‘legal definitions’ of misconduct:

Lord Clyde described misconduct in Roylance v the GMC (2002):

‘misconduct is a word of general effect, involving some act or omission which falls short of what would be proper in the circumstances. The standard of propriety may often be found by reference to the rules and standards ordinarily required to be followed by a medical practitioner in the particular circumstances’.

This definition was expanded in Nandi v GMC (2004), in that misconduct means a serious departure from the acceptable standard that is not just below the acceptable standard but:
 

‘conduct which would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners.’


It has been further clarified in Meadow v GMC (2006) that misconduct sits at the same threshold for disciplinary intervention as the historic phrase ‘serious professional misconduct’:
 

‘As to what constitutes "serious professional misconduct…..it is inconceivable
that "misconduct" – now one of the categories of impairment of fitness to practise…..
should signify a lower threshold for disciplinary intervention’


On reading some of the recent charge sheets it appears that we have perhaps lost sight of misconduct, and moved on from the days where urinating in the spittoon, assaulting nurses or openly breaking wind in front of staff in the surgery sat at the threshold of deplorable conduct. If you have ever accidentally squirted water from the 3 in 1 towards a patient, you ought to be extremely concerned. We now have examples of unprofessional behaviour individually and collectively leading to a charge of misconduct such as:

  • on occasion spraying water on the patient’s bib;
  • throwing gloves at a patient;
  • drinking out of a glass left in the surgery.

And let’s not forget the beauty from a couple of months ago about bouncing balls of impression material down a corridor. How the panels keep a straight face through these types of charge is beyond me, but well done to them. Truthfully, I feel it is a bit embarrassing for the GDC to have it in the public domain. I may be wrong, but I believe that the barristers instructed by the GDC are involved in setting the final charges. With that thought in mind, I took a look at the Bar Standards Association and barristers’ fitness to practice hearings to see what allegations of professional misconduct are levied against them. Here is an example of a concluded Bar fitness to practice tribunal:
http://www.tbtas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/hearings/3390/Outcome-Posting-Behanzin1.pdf

Observe how it is kept to one side of A4, extremely succinct, and there is nothing in it that may give any third party reading it anything to chuckle about? I also noted the lack of any published charges before the hearing for the sum total of 3 barristers presently listed as awaiting a hearing. This, along with the MPTS hearings begs the question of why does our regulator operate on a different set of rules that on the face of it appear more punitive to their registrants than those applied to equivalent professionals? Although it may give me nothing to write about, I would really urge the GDC to look at paring down their charge sheets and not making them public until after the facts have been determined in both their interests and those of the registrants facing a hearing.
One hearing saw a registrant face a charge of failing to:

adequately treat an on-going adverse oral hygiene condition.

It may just be me, but I can’t work out what this charge is supposed to mean and there is no explanation in the determination. In 17 years of practise I have not been aware I was obliged to ‘treat’ an adverse oral hygiene condition; I was taught that my duty was to offer appropriate preventative advice and oral hygiene instruction. It is, I believe, the patient’s duty to ‘treat their oral hygiene condition’ and I can think of at least one periodontist who would take issue with this allegation. I am not sure how anyone can ‘treat an adverse oral hygiene condition’ save for pitching up at the patients house a couple of times a day and doing the cleaning for them, or bringing them to the surgery daily to see the hygienist. Nevertheless, as is often the case with these hearings, we are made to feel that we have been doing it wrong all along, and nobody bothered to tell us until a hearing.
On that note, charges relating to alleged radiographic record-keeping failings have also been appearing more and more of late including not adequately or properly recording in the clinical record:
 

  • the justification for taking a radiograph;
  • the grading of the quality of a radiograph;
  • and even: the justification for not taking radiographs.

I looked at IRMER(2000), and the NRPB Guidelines which are the legally authoritative documents on radiation last month having been asked to consider the validity of this type of charge. In my opinion, the charges indicate a misunderstanding of what justification is; because it is not the same as the clinical indication for taking a radiograph. In the words of an RPA (with a PhD in clinical physics) I consulted over the matter of justification:

‘ "Justification" as required by IRMER is the process of weighing the probable benefit of a radiation exposure against the probable detriment. It is quite separate from "indication" - the clinical history, provisional diagnosis and intended treatment - and "authorisation" - the decision by the Practitioner that the proposed exposure is of sufficient merit. Both indication and authorisation must be recorded, because these are data, but not justification, which is an intellectual process.’


And his reply with regard to the question of where does IRMER(2000) state that we have to record QA score in the clinical record?:

'Nowhere. However Clinical Audit 8. The employer’s procedures shall include provision for the carrying out of clinical audit as appropriate. and The written procedures for medical exposures shall include— (e)procedures to ensure that quality assurance programmes are followed; Thus it is incumbent to occasionally review image quality, patient dose and clinical relevance, and since there is no other means of assuring the quality of the next image, it is important to check the quality of each image and resolve any anomalies before taking the next one. It can be argued that in order for audit to be properly objective, there should be no contemporaneous written assessment of quality: you audit by picking past images at random and assessing them "cold"'.

You should therefore record any faults or failures that demand corrective action, to provide an audit trail for that action, but images deemed acceptable should be filed without comment in order not to prejudice the audit.

Interesting stuff. I am baffled as to why anyone should be criticised for not recording an intellectual process. It is also clear that we do not have to record a grade in the clinical record, in fact we do not even have to grade every radiograph it seems, just check that the quality is acceptable in preparation for the next exposure and do an audit from time to time. So not only do we face issues with the bar of misconduct being stealthily raised, we are now also being tried and tested on doing things that are not actually required of us. This is why every registrant should be represented at a hearing in my opinion, and should only agree to charges that are indefensible. To admit to a frivolous or spurious charge purely to be seen to be ‘showing insight’ is not a position registrant should ever be put in, but I sadly suspect that is where we presently are.

There was, however, some positive evidence of a panel flagging up a GDC-appointed expert using non-mandatory guidelines as non-negotiable standards:

‘The Committee considered that Ms K’s approach was, at times, rather academically orientated and inflexible. In particular, she relied on a number of guidance sources, including the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) 2006 guidelines and the British Society of Periodontology guidelines relating to Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE), which, the Committee noted, are not mandatory. Furthermore, when alternative approaches regarding clinical matters were put to Ms K, she did not seem to acknowledge that it might be acceptable to deviate from these guidelines.’

It was last October I recall that the issue of guidelines and misappropriate use was raised by Dental Protection. This, along with the ‘gold standard bar’ really means that too many registrants are having their careers put on the line when there is a lack of clarity over where the threshold for misconduct really sits, and no universally agreed clinical guidelines. I remain in hope that the GDC FtP department is looking at this closely in the pursuit of proportionate regulation.

Moving on to some other cases, in the High Court, a registrant erased earlier in the year was successful in having his case remitted back to the PCC for reconsideration of an erasure. The registrant had got himself in to bother that might have been avoided by having to reapply to the register after his direct debit had failed, and was found to have been dishonest by fudging responses over two convictions for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. It was held that the PCC had failed to consider relevant mitigating circumstances, namely that the employer had been informed of the convictions but the appeal failed on the challenge of the findings of dishonesty. You can find the judgement here.


Another noteworthy case involved a newly qualified dentist who wound up at an FtP hearing based on performance issues that arose within months of qualification. The question that I am sure on everyone’s minds is ‘how could this happen when the GDC-accredited dental school have allowed him to pass finals?’. Nevertheless, it is nice to see that whilst the GDC-instructed barrister recommended he should be given a reprimand for being let out of dental school too early, there was good evidence of remediation so no current impairment was found. The chap has now completed his VT year and is understandably ‘elated’.

The final case I am going to look at involved another registrant who was erased. This was the second GDC hearing Mr Idris has faced in his career. Having been told by his indemnifiers team during the first hearing that he was facing erasure and this having come rather as a shock they parted company. He instructed his own legal team and the case concluded with conditions. However, self-funding representation for the next hearing was not viable so after several years of reported wrangling with the GDC Mr Idris declined to attend this particular hearing, advising the GDC by email that he would be cleaning up his dogs’ mess instead. As a dog owner I can empathise with this and agree it is a taxing and time consuming task. Mr Idris’s absence was very diplomatically written up into the determination, but should anyone would like to read the unedited version of the email, it can be found here:

http://drtariqidris.co.uk

I’ll leave it here for now. My dog is barking to go out. Duty calls….

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Get on the bus with All Med Pro at the Dental Showcase 2016

Get on the bus with All Med Pro at the Dental Showcase 2016

 

 

Back in April this year All Med Pro teamed up with Hiscox Insurance to provide indemnity cover for Dental Professionals across the UK.

With indemnity costs on the rise and the well-publicised issues around discretionary indemnity and in particular the payment of claims we believe our offering provides a true alternative to the medical defence organisations. 

We are exhibiting at this year’s BDIA Dental Showcase at the London Excel on the 6-8 October. We will be located at stand C70 in a red route master bus. Our aim together with Hiscox Insurance is to offer support to Dental Professionals throughout their career and we invite you to join us and discuss your indemnity requirements.

Just one of the ways we have assisted our clients is by partnering up with a specialist provider of verifiable CPD - for dentists by dentists. This provides online CPD, resource library and access to training courses.

For Dentists who are claim free premiums start at £1,642.00* including insurance premium tax. We can also assist those who may have had claims, refused cover or GDC enquiries. The policy with Hiscox includes the following:

 

·        Up to £10,000,000 limit of indemnity

·        Run-off cover

·        Reputation protection

·        Good Samaritan acts

·        Data protection cover 

·        Loss of documents cover

·        Contract certainty 

·        12 month interest free direct debit for the medical negligence cover

 

We can also provide indemnity cover for hygienists, therapists, technicians and dental nurses.

#getonthebus

 

For further information click here - www.allmedpro.co.uk

 

*This does not include the cost of medico legal expenses and CPD. 

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3549 Hits
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MC Dental Special Offers - September 2016

MC Dental Special Offers - September 2016

 

 

 

 

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MC Dental Special Offers - October 2016

MC Dental Special Offers - October 2016

Latest offers from MC Dental below. Click on the images for further information.

Handpiece repair also available from the team at MC Repairs.

 

 

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MASS OBSERVATION – Your profession, Your experiences, Your opinions

MASS OBSERVATION – Your profession, Your experiences, Your opinions



 

This October the FGDP(UK) is undertaking an ambitious initiative called the ‘Mass Observation’ project. Subtitled ‘Your profession, Your experiences, Your opinions’ the project aims to capture a snapshot of the dental profession in 2016. 

Everyone in dentistry, from receptionists to practice owners, is invited to submit their experiences about one particular day working in dentistry. The official Mass Observation Day is Wednesday 12th October but people can choose to talk about any day in the week of the 10th to the 16th October. 

Although a small amount of demographic data will be gathered all submissions are anonymous, enabling people to be as candid as possible. The two main questions are deliberately very open: 

 

  • What did you do today? 
  • What are your thoughts on the profession? 


Within the parameters of those two questions people can write whatever they want, providing they do not breech patient confidentiality. 

The main anticipated outcome from the project is a wealth of anecdotal evidence about dentistry in 2016, and what those involved in the practice of dentistry think about the profession. Whatever themes emerge will be examined in a report to be produced as part of the FGDP(UK)’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2017. 

Dean of the FGDP(UK) Dr Mick Horton said: 
“This project was inspired by the Mass Observation Project that ran for nearly three decades from 1937. Ordinary people shared snapshots of their lives, and in doing so created an invaluable treasure trove of social history. The FGDP(UK) now wants to create something similar to help us celebrate general dental practice during our 25th anniversary next year. 

We want the whole profession to get involved, not just Faculty members. Dentistry is a wonderful and diverse profession, full of people with fascinating experiences and strong views to share. We want to hear from them all.” 


 

 

To take part visit www.massobservation.org.uk


People will have until the 31st October to submit their contributions. 

 

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The Honeymoon is Over

The Honeymoon is Over

Political leaders are often said to have a honeymoon period at the very beginning of their new post. At a time where their political capital as at its highest, there tends to be a degree of ‘benefit of the doubt’ given and political opponents treat them well. I get the impression that due to the lack of political opponents to currently wrestle with means that Theresa May has had less of a honeymoon, and more like a ‘swift registry office wedding and straight back to work on Monday’ type of period. There has been no particular need to allow her into the post gently, and indeed she hit the ground running it appears.

It wasn’t quite the same with the new Chief Dental Officer. An initial period of cautious approval and hope that the new incumbent might be a less dogmatic and more approachable one than previously was supported initially by in increase in visibility, and the right kinds of sound bites the made many think this could be someone who is more in tune with dentists than was previously the case.

Well, it certainly looks like the honeymoon is over for our new Chief Dental Officer after the comments this week about routine examinations is anything to go by. Once again it appears the CDO has trotted out the underlying political message desired by the paymasters at DoH. What appeared to start out as a marriage that could work with the profession now appears to be heading for a divorce already.

The comments that were published in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail appear to rehash of those made in 2004 by Raman Bedi, and again in 2011 by Barry Cockcroft, both gleefully published by the Daily Mail, and no doubt trying to reinforce the opinion that the majority of the profession are money grabbing charlatans. The same old mantra is being rolled out by yet another incumbent of the CDO post, which despite its downgrade by government now to a junior supporting role, is nonetheless listened to by the press and therefore the public in order to give more ammunition to the incessant deprofessionalisation of dentistry as a whole. (Or so it seems to me).

In addition, the comments by former NHS Trust Chairman Roy Lilley in the same article that dentistry has become ‘a rich mans hobby’ provided in ‘lavish environments’ would be quite frankly laughable if it weren’t for the fact that they are so offensive. I’m sure he didn’t sit in an office furnished from a secondhand furniture store in a cold draughty office block, so why the hell should we? I could wax lyrical for a long time about my opinions of such people in NHS high office, but I’m sure much of it would give the legal profession many hours of extra work. Suffice to say the ignorance of comments such as this are what I would expect from a member of the ‘profession’ that continually commissioned excessive amounts of UDA’s year on year from D’Mello, and oversaw the disasters at Stafford amongst other things. Perhaps Mr. Lilley would be happier receiving his routine dentistry in the kind of environment that charities such as Bridge2Aid find they have to work in? Perhaps then he might be grateful for the small luxuries his salary allows him to experience. I would suggest he puts some of his money where his mouth is and donates to such deserving causes so they could ever hope to achieve a level of care that even the worse off in our society take for granted.

But I am more concerned the comments made by Col. Hurley seem to go deeper and are potentially more damaging to the profession than any crass comments made by an NHS apparatchik. Comparing the profession to garage mechanics is crude and whilst part of me can always find parallels with any other industry, it is highly disingenuous to make that comparison without thinking more closely. The analogy can be torn apart so easily on many levels.

With the GDC and CQC breathing down the necks of professionals all the time, I’m sure many of them would wish to have a working environment more akin to the relaxed nature (comparatively) of working in a garage. I can’t quite remember the last time the General Garage Council struck a mechanic off for using the wrong oil, or not explaining the different kinds of windscreen washer fluid before servicing a car. In addition, Col Hurley seems to forget that likening the situation to an MOT is also a bit silly, since it is a legal requirement that you have to submit your car for that test every year. Her comparison fails hugely at this point. Perhaps the situation with dental problems (especially that of the huge number of children admitted for GA’s) wouldn’t be as bad if people were compelled by legislation to see a dentist yearly as part of their responsibility to the others contributing to the cost of state run care? But then of course the state wouldn’t be able to afford it and would have to admit as such.

On the other hand, whilst continuing the garage comparison, preventative maintenance is the responsibility of the driver, and there is indeed a whole host of legislation in place to ensure this happens.  So if my garage (ethical and professionally run) recommend I get something rechecked in a period because the vehicle might be dangerous, then I would be foolish to ignore that advice both from a safety and legal point of view. I’m also not likely to blame the mechanic if my car breaks down because I haven’t looked after it.

That there are dodgy garages will be no surprise, but then we all know there are dodgy dental practitioners who, amongst other things, blatantly game the system because the lack of clarity in the current contract makes it possible for them to do so. I suggest however that there are a higher proportion of mechanics that are not ethically guided than dentists due to their lack of professional regulation, and to make an analogy between them therefore is somewhat clumsy and misguided.

Comments like these have more than likely damaged the working relationship between the CDO and the profession in my opinion, and shown that her

Honeymoon period is well and truly over

The open letter to the profession published in January in Dentistry from Col. Hurley suggested that budgeting the NHS funds appropriately was at the forefront of all the planned changes that she would suggest. No one would argue that this is appropriate and should be the way forward. In an era of austerity we have to look at how the finite funding is spent, and I personally agree that much of the NHS budget could be better spent than recycling the same healthy patients.

However, these are often those patients who take an interest in their dental care. When we have 50% of the population not attending a dentist at all, then the budget is going to be spent on those that do. Couple this to the failed UDA system that makes it a financial risk to take on too many high needs patients (who are often those who don’t value the service and miss appointments), then is it any wonder that the small businesses of dental practices need the repeat business of regulars to survive? The screaming lack of clarity that is present in the current contract, and in my opinion will remain in any new contract (purely because of the benefit to the Government and no-one else) is not likely to be addressed anytime soon. There is no appetite for the Government to officially admit dentistry is rationed, yet we all know it is, and instead a press release such as this could have helped both the patients and the profession by being honest about the amount of money the NHS has to spend on routine examinations.

For the first time, it appears an NHS manager (Chris Hopson writing in the Observer) has this weekend finally admitted that that aspirational wishes of the NHS are not met by the funding needed to provide them and rationing is likely in the future. Perhaps the ‘worried well’ that Col. Hurley is referring to as being seen so regularly should actually make way for those who cannot access treatment. Perhaps by publically endorsing a core service that is equitable for all would go a long way to meeting her desire to target the resources of the NHS more appropriately rather than once again making it the dentists fault as usual for the perpetual lack of funding to provide ‘world class’ healthcare for everyone.

So, instead of therefore criticising the dentists for seeing patients more often ‘than needed’, why didn’t she take the opportunity to actually say that the NHS can’t actually afford to fund this type of regular recall, and that it only has the funds to see patients once every two years? A comment such as this is more likely to get the support of the profession since we all know how poorly funded the system is, and yet it doesn’t alienate the profession so much. Suggesting then that the patients are still free to see their dentist 6 monthly, but under a private arrangement, would both inform the public of the truth about the parlous state of NHS funding, and gain the support from the vast majority of dental professionals by talking it out of their hands. Instead of encouraging the patients to question the integrity of the professional caring for them this would be more appropriate surely? It is a chance for her to stand together with the profession she is part of whilst still fulfilling the government need to obtain value for money with its funding.

What is amusing is the same papers ran a story only the week before stating that soldiers face a week in jail for missing dental appointments in a bid to reduce the amount of personnel unavailable for military deployment due to dental disease. Is this a not double standard? Coming from the military back ground she does, I’m sure Col. Hurley was aware of this issue before she became CDO. So when the public read these conflicting stories, how are they to make a decision? Is it that dental problems can be so bad that the army punishes offenders who don’t take responsibility for their dental care with jail; or that you don’t actually need to go to the dentist for 2 years? Which is the message about dental health that is correct?

We all have cases to robustly shoot down the 2-year interval theory. For instance, I have a low risk patient who I have been seeing for many years now. Probably one restoration every 6 or 7 years, good oral hygiene etc., and is in the early 40’s. At a routine 6 monthly I spotted a lesion under the tongue. This turned out to be a squamous cell carcinoma. It wasn’t there 6 months previously. They would be one of the patients that fit in the criteria of a biennial examination. I’m sure that would be of great help to a spouse and children if the patient had listened to the advice. Fortunately for the patient we expedited the referral appropriately. However, at the next 6 monthly, there was still some nodal involvement that we picked up. This fell between the review appointments at oncology, was pointed out to them, and now a neck dissection has been performed. Once again, the DENTAL problems were minimal.

What about the increase in the HPV+ types of Oral Cancer that are now being seen in younger lower (traditional) risk patients? Or subtle diet changes that misguided approaches to a healthier lifestyle involve that create more dental problems and more long term cost to the state? I can go on, and I’m sure there are many other examples that people can give.

I can think of NONE of my patients that I would be confident leaving for 2 years without some form of assessment. When you ‘get out of the mouth’ and look at patients as a whole it is astounding how many things can impact their oral health in so many ways, and 24 months is a long time indeed…Whilst I admit there are those patients who never seen to need anything doing, how do we know they won’t suddenly suffer a need for medication or have health issues that change their dental risk? Since the Government seem to fail to take responsibility for educating the population about the risks of the links between health and dental issues then many patients will not automatically seek our advice. When they then return with a mouthful of problems because of some misguided attempt to save the state money because we’ve had to accept the demand for a longer interval between assessments, then I know that we are going to get the blame, and the GDC and ambulance chasers are going to be rubbing their hands together in glee, whilst the DoH wash their hands of the responsibility.

I unfortunately have to keep hammering out to many of my local GMP colleagues that we are not blacksmiths any more, but highly trained medical and surgical colleagues who take a full view of the patient in a holistic manner, but concentrating on the head and neck. It would appear that solely concentrating on just the teeth and gums is what even our CDO feels we are doing given the tone of the comments in the press. I wonder when the last time she actually fully assessed and treated a patient from start to finish, and whether of not the pressure of a real (and not with an institutionalized cohort of patients) dental practice has been experienced.

The BDA press release the same day was suitably pithy; but in reality the message wont be important to the public given they usually jump on any chance to further hate our profession.

But if the headlines actually said something like ‘Dental Trade Union refuse to negotiate with Government’s ‘Top’ Dentist’ then this might allow us to start to get our message across. The DoH is perfectly happy to sensationalise headlines to further their own ends, so it’s about time we did.

 

 

 

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The CDO Speaks

The CDO Speaks

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Bridge 2 Aid Charity auction for A-dec Chair

Bridge 2 Aid Charity auction for A-dec Chair

 

UK dental practices are being offered the unique opportunity to take part in a charity auction to win a brand new A-dec Performer dental operating unit. This chair has been donated by Adec and SPS Dental in support of the charity Bridge2Aid.  It’s your opportunity to win a top class chair for a very reasonable price – and for all the money to go towards an amazing cause. And as part of this great opportunity SPS have offered to deliver and install the chair for no cost to anywhere in the mainland UK

You can make a bid today on this fantasic A-dec Performer chair by visiting the Bridge2Aid charity ebay auction site -  www.bridge2aid.org/charity-auction

A-dec are long term partners in the work of Bridge2Aid and SPS Dental are now joining them as another piece of the important support structure for the charity.  Bridge2Aid works to free communities in the developing world from chronic pain by teaching vital new skills to rural health workers.  Over 70% of the world has no access to any form of safe treatment for oral diseases and infections.  People are abandoned to agony for months and years.  They face life-threatening infections and pain that is so severe that they cannot work, go to school or feed their families.  Bridge2Aid’s unique solution is providing intensive practical training to existing health workers in emergency dental skills to treat and educate.  The support of companies such as A-dec and SPS Dental is vital in carrying out this work.

A-dec are the world’s leading manufacturer of dental operating units, with over 30 years experience supplying to the UK high street practices, NHS centres, educational facilities and HM Armed Forces.  A-dec Dental UK has been a major supporter of Bridge2Aid for over a decade.  A-dec have also helped Bridge2Aid to equip and design the fee paying ‘Hope Dental Centre’ in Tanzania which raises additional funds to help get rural communities out of pain.

In addition to the amazing fundraising and project support that A-dec give to Bridge2Aid they also regularly host training & interview sessions and other large meetings at the four A-dec showrooms across the UK. In 2016 A-dec will once again host the Bridge2Aid team on their stand (I20) at BDIA Showcase 2016.

A-dec are supported in the UK by an extended distribution network, of which SPS Dental form a key part, SPS Dental have over 50 years’ experience as a specialist provider of dental equipment and dental surgery design. Providing its services to both the public and private sectors SPS are a proud supporter to the A-dec brand in the South East of England. SPS Dental has an enviable reputation as a highly regarded and respected company that provides its clientele with the very best in advice and service. Chris Knight’s drive and dedication is a pivotal part of the success of the partnership that has been built between A-dec and SPS over the years.  

Visit stand I30 at the BDIA Showcase to find out more from the SPS team and see the chair that is being auctioned.  

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Digital dentistry made easy with Planmeca!

Digital dentistry made easy with Planmeca!

 

Join Planmeca and special guests on stand E70 and experience how easy it is to embrace digital dentistry within your practice!

Planmeca are hosting a series of 1 hour workshops taking you on a ‘same day digital dentistry’ journey starting with renowned dental business consultant Chris Barrow. Chris will present a look into the future of the ‘Connected Digital Dental Practice’ and talk about the benefits of integrating digital dentistry within your practice. This session will be followed by the Nordic Institute of Dental Education (NIDE) who will present a hands-on  ‘CAD/CAM for dental clinics’ session, utilising Planmeca’s chairside digital impression system; PlanFITTM, and giving each delegate the opportunity to scan design and manufacture their very own restoration guided by the digital experts from Planmeca and NIDE.

Closing the workshop will be Ivoclar Vivadent, who will provide an overview of the process of staining, glazing and characterisation of your restorations, plus the material choices available and the aesthetic results achieved.

If you’re interested in digital dentistry then make Planmeca your no.1 destination at this year’s dental showcase.

For more information and to secure your place on one of the 16 workshops, please call us Freephone 0800 5200 330 or visit www.planmeca.com for more information.

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CDO shows her true colours

CDO shows her true colours

I wrote a piece for Dentistry magazine earlier this year about the new Chief Dental Officer who at the time was busy on a “fact-finding” tour of her new territory. Sara Hurley’s tour was without doubt planned as a charm offensive, featuring smiling photographs with some of the movers and shakers of British dentistry. When she made an appearance at the BDA conference in Manchester her ad-lib question and answer session on the BDA stand was very successful and she came across as personable, reasonable and eloquent. “Good”, I thought, “here’s someone who wants to make friends”.

After more than a decade of her successor, Barry Cockcroft, who could not be described as any one of personable, reasonable or eloquent she seemed a breath of fresh air. But, let’s face it, the bar wasn’t set very high.

In my article I reminisced about CDOs I had encountered, I would not claim to have known any of them. I encountered Brian Mouatt when I was doing the MGDS pre-exam course just after the Conservative government announced a new dental contract, which was intended to “sort out NHS dentistry for good”.

He gave a talk on the new contract and promised that he would answer our concerns when he had finished. However having completed his prepared address he muttered something about having a previous engagement and headed for the door, our angry comments and questions ringing in his ear.

I only knew Margaret Seward because she was married to my first boss, Professor Gordon Seward, she was in post for two years and presumably wasn’t able to leave much of a mark on things, people I have met who worked with her spoke highly of her.

The other CDO I met was of course the previously mentioned Dr Cockcroft who was the highly visible mouthpiece for the iniquitous UDA system and became the exception after a line of low profile CDOs.

In view of Dr Hurley’s ease with people and obviously understanding the need for good PR I was surprised to hear that the new CDO had been far too busy to answer questions on Channel 4 in the wake of their damning reports on UK dentistry. If an NHS dentist was similarly booked solid for 6 months it would be mismanagement.

There was something that kept nagging at me and that was the somewhat cynical conclusion we reached after Brian Mouatt’s sudden departure. The CDO is a civil servant and is there to do the government’s bidding. The current incumbent has spent her professional life in the services reaching a high rank, she knows all about chain of command and is used to taking orders.

Her announcement this week at an NHS Expo (whatever that may be) that, “Going to the dentist every six months is unnecessary,” as the Daily Telegraph reported it, only undermines the position of Dentistry.  The other statements attributed to her are more “austerity” fuelled DoH propaganda.

"You don't see your GP every six months so why would you see your dentist?” Dr Hurley said. Well, Sara that is because NHS medicine is an illness driven system that is reactive and gives only lip service to prevention.

“If you go to have your car MOT, and he says, come back in six months, do you blindly adhere to that advice?” Actually Sarah if I’m driving one and a half tons of complicated machinery that I want to be safe yes I do. What does the army do about recalling tanks for servicing at the correct intervals? I would suggest that if you do them “blindly” someone could find themselves being disciplined.

She was joined on the platform by Roy Lilley who described dentistry as  “a rich man’s hobby” as a regular reader of Mr Lilley I know him to be anti-medic, and by extension dentist, who thinks that every ill in medicine can be cured with a “cuppa builder’s and a hobnob”. He criticised improved surroundings for dentistry, perhaps a return to upright chairs, woodchip wallpaper and lino; with queues on the stairs for gas sessions - would this suit him?

It has taken dentistry half a century to get the message across that regular attenders have fewer problems, stay healthier and actually prefer the reassurance. The good practices already tailor their recalls to suit patients and have been doing it for decades. Your statement is irresponsible and only fuels any criticism and scepticism of dentistry. You knew that your words would make headlines and that you were undermining the hard won confidence that most general practitioners face. However as you have never been a GDP how can you possibly understand what that really means?

It would appear that after a year in post gaining the fragile confidence of dentists, the directive has come down to the CDO, “get rid of your camouflage tunic, put on your hard hat and Kevlar, come out into the open and start gunning down your colleagues. That’s what we pay you for, not popularity - oh and Sara don’t forget there may well be a gong in it for you”.

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Dental Elite Announces New Membership

Dental Elite Announces New Membership

Dental Elite is pleased to announce that it has been awarded membership to the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).

Having gone through a rigorous process, Dental Elite is now a member of the UK’s trade body for business finance brokers – an accolade that only a few other companies within the dental sector can boast.

With this associateship, Dental Elite can continue to offer its clients an excellent service with the additional support of the NACFB, which exists to safeguard both its members and their clients against fraud and restrictive practices.

Its aim as one of the largest agencies in dental recruitment, finance, valuations, acquisitions and sales is to ensure that its clients receive a transparent, impartial and ethical service that ensures the optimum outcome is achieved.

For more information, contact the team today.

 

For more information contact DE Finance. Visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01788 545 900

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DBS checks; do you know who you are employing?

DBS checks; do you know who you are employing?

Who do you currently carry out DBS checks on? How often do you do this? Do your contracts and policies ensure staff have an ongoing duty to update you?

It is a CQC requirement that anyone employed by a dental practice is suitably qualified to perform the role they are undertaking. You also have a duty to safeguard the public. Therefore to ensure you are employing the right calibre of staff, you should carry out DBS checks before making any offer of employment final.

However, beware; you need to ensure you undertake the right level of check for the right role or you could be in hot water. The law also protects job applicants and employees in certain situations in relation to information obtained about their criminal convictions. Failing to comply with the law could result in you ending up in an Employment Tribunal.

In this blog we set out who you need to carry out checks on, the different types of checks available and give some practical tips to help you comply with your duties. 

Background

A DBS check, formerly a CRB check, is a check carried out on an individual before they take up new employment.  It provides certain information about that person in relation to their criminal record and whether they are on either the adult or child barring list, which means they are barred from working with these groups.

However, a DBS check is not a routine check an employer can make on any of its job applicants. It is only if one of the exceptions applies that an employer can make a request for such information. There are also different levels of checks depending on the nature of the role.

Dentistry is one of the exceptions in which a DBS check can be obtained.

Who?

The first thing you need to consider is which members of staff do you need to undertake checks on.

·         Dentists and Dental Care Professionals. You need to undertake an enhanced DBS check with barred list check on all dentists and dental care professionals. 

·         Receptionists. This will depend on the type of practice you run and the duties of your receptionist as to which check you need to carry out. The more contact that they have with patients on their own, the more likely they are to require a check.

·         Office staff. The CQC states that there is no requirement on non-clinical staff to have DBS checks. However, we would recommend seeking voluntary disclosure.

·         Practice managers. Given the nature of the role and their responsibilities we would recommend carrying out a standard DBS check, unless they will be in contact with vulnerable adults and children, then the enhanced check with barred list check should be carried out.

Types of Checks

The types of checks that can be undertaken are:

·         Voluntary disclosure. This is where you ask the job applicant to provide information about their criminal record voluntarily. However, there are limits on what you can ask for and what information you can use.

·         Basic DBS check. This contains information in relation to a person’s unspent criminal convictions, conditional and unconditional cautions or that there are none.

·         Standard DBS check. This contains information about a person’s spent and unspent convictions and cautions, as well as police warnings and reprimands.

·         Enhanced DBS check. This will contain information about a person’s spent and unspent convictions and cautions, police warnings and reprimands, and relevant police information. If the enhanced DBS check includes a barring list check then information as to whether the person is unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults will also be provided.

How?

The basic DBS check can be obtained by the individual themselves, without the need to be countersigned by the employer. However, the standard or enhanced DBS checks require the individual to make an application, which is countersigned by a registered person confirming their entitlement to apply for the certificate.

There is now also an online service that individuals can register with and keep their checks up to date, so if they move between similar jobs, employers can access this information more easily.

When?

All DBS checks should be carried out on staff once an offer of employment has been made. If the staff member is working with children or vulnerable adults, this will need to be done before they start that role.

If the dentist is on the NHS performers list you can write to the NHS to seek their confirmation that the dentists has passed the relevant DBS checks, to avoid having to go through the application process. If you do this you must ensure that you can evidence that you have satisfied yourself the dentist is fit to work.

What are the consequences of getting it wrong?

Given that it is a CQC requirement to ensure that staff are suitably qualified, a failure to do so could result in you failing an inspection.

What weight you attach to the contents of a DBS check or voluntary disclosure will clearly depend on the role being offered, whether the convictions are spent or unspent and whether the applicant is on either barring list.

Refusing to employ a job applicant because they have a spent conviction, unless there is a legal obligation placed on you not to employ, is not allowed. However, the reality is that, there is little a job applicant can do in these circumstances as there are no penalties for a breach of this legislation.

If you later find out someone has lied about their criminal convictions, then this is likely to be seen as an act of gross misconduct and you should take the necessary action. You should also consider if you have a duty to report the person to the GDC.

However, if you find out that an applicant did not disclose a spent conviction, unless you would not have been allowed to employ them at all as a result of this, you cannot dismiss them for not disclosing this information. Whilst this has not been tested in the tribunals, given the wording of the legislation this is likely to be seen as an automatically unfair reason for dismissal.

Practical Tips

·         Offer letters. When you offer an applicant a position you should state in the letter that the offer is subject to references and the relevant DBS checks.

·         Contract of employment. Make sure your contract places a positive duty on employees and associates to notify you should their circumstances change.

·         New circumstances. If during the course of employment, an employee is cautioned or convicted of an offence, do not have a knee-jerk reaction to this. You need to weigh up the position held, the nature of the offence and your own policies. Again you will need to consider if you need to report this to the GDC.

If you would like to discuss any part of this article or need any assistance with safeguarding issues, please contact Laura Pearce on 0207 388 1658 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Strike!

Strike!

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“38% of 12 year olds have signs of tooth wear.”*¹ You can help!

“38% of 12 year olds have signs of tooth wear.”*¹ You can help!

 

“38% of 12 year olds have signs of tooth wear.”*¹ You can help!

According to the Children’s Dental Health Survey 2013 “up to 57% of 5 year olds and up to 38% of 12 year olds have signs of tooth surface loss on the incisors.”*¹ Now that your young patients are going back to school, their lunchboxes may include acidic fruits, fruit juices and fizzy drinks which can lead to enamel softening and tooth wear. The enamel of their adult teeth has to last the rest of their life. And once enamel is gone it’s gone for good.

How can you protect your young patients’ enamel?  

Pronamel® for Children toothpaste has been developed with dental experts to help provide daily protection from the effects of erosive tooth wear and decay.

-          Optimised fluoride formulation with 1450 ppm fluoride to help re-harden acid-softened enamel

-          Low abrasivity to be gentle on softened enamel

-          Neutral pH and SLS free

The online CPD module, developed by GSK, gives you the opportunity to find out more about how to identify tooth wear using the BEWE tool. Simply visit www.gsk-dentalprofessionals.co.uk to complete the module today!

Pronamel® has worked with leading dental experts in the field of tooth wear to develop a range of products specifically designed to help protect against the effects of erosive tooth wear,2 such as Pronamel® for Children.

 

 

 

 

Recommend Pronamel® for Children to provide daily protection against erosive tooth wear and decay.

References:

  1. Children’s Dental Health Survey 2013. Report 2: Dental Disease and Damage in Children England, Wales and Northern Ireland. March 2015. Health & Social Care Information Centre.
  2. Final Minutes from the Expert Panel Meeting to Discuss Toothwear/Erosion

in Children. GSK Data on File. 2007

 

*Refers to the lingual surface of the incisor only

Trade Marks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.

CHGBI/CHPRO/0038/15c

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Sara Hurley visits Denplan Head Office

On Monday 22 August, Denplan welcomed Chief Dental Officer for England, Sara Hurley, and Andrew Taylor, her Dental Programme Manager, to the company’s head office in Winchester. The aim of the meeting was to explore areas of mutual interest between the private and public sectors. There was acknowledgment that engagement between the two sectors centres on common patient-centred goals – not least that of offering more patient choice, and improving the long term oral health of patients in the UK.

Henry Clover, Denplan’s Chief Dental Officer said: “We were delighted to welcome Sara and Andrew to our offices, where we were able to explain Denplan’s business model and the range of support services we offer to 6,500 member dentists nationwide. We see this as the start of a conversation on potential areas of collaboration and information sharing.”

One area of discussion was the Denplan Excel certification programme, developed over 15 years ago for dentists to help support clinical governance, professional regulation and excellence in patient care and communication. The Denplan Excel programme was also UKAS accredited in January this year. Denplan explained that they would be open to future discussions with the GDC regarding continuing assurance plans, and with the CQC, to discuss the potential value of clinical service accreditation and peer review schemes. These could be useful information sources to support their inspection programmes and to help continue driving up standards in dentistry.

Henry also shared some data recently published in the British Dental Journal which demonstrated that worsening oral health correlates with worsening general health. This was derived from over 37,000 patients who had received a Denplan PreViser Patient Assessment (DEPPA)1. The research provided further evidence for the association between high-risk lifestyle factors such as smoking and heavy drinking and poor oral health outcomes in an area of common interest in all sectors of primary care.

There were also discussions around the array of tailor–made practice training sessions that Denplan runs for practices and their dental teams – over 450 sessions per year.  Denplan Academy training covers areas such as complaint handling, legal and ethical issues and GDC standards, preparing for CQC inspections, and caring for patients with dementia to name a few.

Henry said: “It was generally agreed that any initiatives and training that improves practice efficiency and in turn improves oral health outcomes, would serve the profession well to be explored on a wider scale.”

Sara also outlined the case for a national programme to improve dental health through better co-ordinated care and empowering communities to implement their own sustainable oral health initiatives.  She will be launching the concept of “Smile 4 Life” at the Health and Care Innovation Expo next month; national support for existing community based projects, a hub for sharing best practices across Local Government Authority areas and ensuring that local oral health initiatives are complemented by innovative commissioning approaches within local NHS England Commissioning Teams and supported by the profession. 

The initial focus is “Early Years/under 5’s” with the aim to provide opportunities for families and  children to establish good oral health habits as a daily norm, be it nursery school or at home.  With encouragement and ease of access to dental care professionals, first check-up by age 1 and opportunity to continue to visit the dental team regularly for age–appropriate preventive advice, together with help to ensure problems are identified early, the prospect of a generation of children free from decay becomes increasingly real. 

Keen to expand the concept of Smile 4 Life beyond childhood, Sara also touched on an ambition for a wide-ranging programme for oral health reform – with a focus on improvements for the oral health of the over 65’s, the 16-24 age group, the homeless, the ageing well (typically aged 35-55) and those aged 85 plus – a population expected to double between 2010 and 2030. She also expressed her determination that the dental profession work together to lead and achieve the required changes.

 

Henry commented: “Denplan will continue to support such prevention strategies that recognise that good dental health in childhood is vital, not only for lifelong oral wellbeing, but for good overall long term general health. This is ever more so important now, given the lack of an oral health focus in the government’s recently published obesity strategy.” 

 

 

[1] http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v221/n2/full/sj.bdj.2016.525.html British Dental Journal 221, 65 - 69 (2016) Published online: 22 July 2016 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.525

 


About Henry Clover

Henry Clover joined the Professional Services team of Denplan in 1998, having worked as a dentist for 17 years looking after patients’ oral health in his own practice. He now holds the position of Director of Dental Policy at Simplyhealth and is also Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. Henry playing a vital role in Simplyhealth’s Leadership Team and is at the forefront of private dentistry liaising with more than 6,500 member dentists.

 

About Denplan

Denplan is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years and today the company is owned by Simplyhealth. Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to budget for their private dental care by spreading the cost through a fixed monthly fee. We support regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.

 

For further information visit www.denplan.co.uk. For oral health tips and advice visit www.myteeth.co.uk. Patient enquiries telephone: 0800 401 402   Dentist enquiries telephone: 0800 328 3223 
 

  • Denplan Care: all routine and restorative care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Essentials: routine care only + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Plans for Children: routine and other agreed care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Membership Plan: registered with the dentist + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Emergency: worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover only
  • Company Dental Plans: company funded, voluntary and flexible benefit schemes 
     

Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training, plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

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Curaprox UK Expands into Ireland

Curaprox UK Expands into Ireland

 

Since it was established in 1972, Curaprox has become a leading name in oral health.

“As a team, we pride ourselves on offering proven solutions that encourage best practice, correct technique and ensure an efficacious oral hygiene regimen – and that is why we are delighted to be expanding our service to the Irish market with a new team member,” says Richard Thomas, MD of Curaprox UK.

“Though we have had a presence in Ireland since 2014 supplying our products via two renowned distributors, our goal has always been to expand Curaprox UK. That is why we have recruited Orla Sheehy to look after Curaprox Ireland as a Senior Business Development Manager.”

Orla is originally from Carlow, and has worked as an Operations Manager for a dental equipment company and for GSK.

Over the coming months Curaprox will be increasing its support to oral healthcare professionals across Ireland through regional meetings and by attending exhibitions.

Orla will also be working very closely with iTOP tutor Barbara Derham as part of Curaprox’s efforts to increase its educational presence.

In the meantime, Curaprox will continue to produce oral healthcare products that are safe, gentle and effective.

To find out more, contact Orla on 085 1644648 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

For more information please call 01480 862084, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.curaprox.co.uk

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Don’t play the waiting game

Don’t play the waiting game

 

 

While our love of queuing may be integral to our national identity, the truth is that we, just like everyone else in the world, don’t really like having to wait. This is particularly true in the dental practice – with waiting times being a real bone of contention amongst patients.

 

Of course, it may be impossible to completely eliminate your waiting times – after all, dentistry is a very, very busy profession and, while you will undoubtedly do our best to see patients as quickly and efficiently as possible, the very nature of the work that you do necessitates a level of care that can sometimes result in delays.

 

Nevertheless, it is always important to strive to ensure that your waiting times in practice are not unacceptable – not only since you have a responsibility to your patients, but because it can also be damaging to the reputation and success of your practice.

 

Indeed, waiting times can be a very important factor for patients when choosing where to go for treatment. Nowadays, patients are well-informed, organised and far more discerning when it comes to choosing dental care, and are much more likely to conduct their own research before booking an appointment – and if they find reviews of your practice that mention a long waiting time, they may simply choose to go elsewhere.

 

You also have to remember that this can be true of your existing patients too. Unfortunately, loyalty to one’s dentists is largely a thing of the past. No matter how good the service they receive has been before, if your waiting times begin to increase, your current patients may just leave for a practice that is more convenient for them.

 

As such, being in control of your waiting times is key to providing consistently excellent customer service. To be a successful, thriving practice in what is becoming an increasingly competitive profession, customer service must be impeccable from the minute a patient first makes contact. Indeed, if a patient does not believe they have received the utmost service in this respect, even if the treatment itself was a success, their opinion of the practice in general may be ruined. After all, if you go to a restaurant and are served delicious food by a bad waiter who made you wait, it’s likely the poor service that will be remembered.

 

You should also remember that people lead increasingly busy lives nowadays, and sitting in a waiting room is simply a waste of their time – making it unsurprising that so many people are willing to forgo their dental treatments in the first place.

 

However, by carefully managing our waiting times, you can improve your customer service and strengthen your patients’ positive relationship with your practice. It’s also good for compliance too, since patients who are happy with the service they have received are likely to be more receptive to any advice they are given regarding their oral health. It will also encourage patients to continue attending your practice, helping you build a more personal relationship with them, one that is more communicative and trusting, which will give you the information needed to better treat their problems.

 

What’s more, managing waiting times will also benefit your staff. Without having to deal with consistently annoyed or impatient patients, your reception staff will be less stressed. They’ll also be able to more effectively get on with their work, without the disruptions caused by potential complaints.

 

Of course, to set reasonable waiting times, you have to be ruthlessly efficient about how you organise our appointment book. Using an online booking platform is an effective way of achieving this. With complete control, you can upload only the appointments you want to fill, for your patients to browse and book. This allows you to keep your daily and weekly workload at an optimal level, within your abilities to manage, and gives space for any emergencies, routine follow-ups or, in those unavoidable instances, delays. Online booking will take some of the pressure off your reception staffs too, so they can focus more on welcoming the patients who have come into the practice rather than dealing with busy phone lines and bookings.

 

AppointMentor from Welltime is a perfect example of this kind of system. It affords complete control of your practice’s appointment book, is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year; is easy to use, and simple for you to review and revise.

 

Ensuring your patients do not have to wait unduly long amounts of time for treatment is a fundamental aspect of good customer service. It will also help streamline your whole treatment system and strengthen the reputation and efficacy of your practice. Look for tools that can help you set reasonable waiting times: they allow people to get actively involved in making decisions about their care and get the most out of you, their dentist.

 

For more information, contact the Welltime team on 07999 991 337, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at www.welltime.co.uk.

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GDPUK Conference 2016 - November 4th - Manchester

GDPUK Conference 2016 - November 4th - Manchester

 

GDPUK are pleased to announce - we are running a conference on the 4th of November in Manchester for the whole of the Dental Community.

We have put together an unusual dental event, with 20 minute timed presentations, with a mixture of discussion provoking speakers.

The aim is to bring GDPUK colleagues together for an educational and a social day, with time for food and drink in a modern setting close to Old Trafford, Salford Quays and City Centre Manchester, with all the transport links and facilities close to the venue.

The day is a great opportunity to celebrate the GDPUK community and dentistry. We also hope it is a chance for Dentists to meet up and spend an invigorating, inspiring and interesting day together. 

Please look at our minisite to learn more about the day. Full agenda and timings can be found on the website. 6 hours of verifiable CPD in a modern, friendly environment.

www.gdpuk.com/conference

 

 

For further information please follow this link - www.gdpuk.com/conference

 

 

 

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Childhood Obesity Strategy: ‘Oral health overlooked’ says Denplan

Childhood Obesity Strategy: ‘Oral health overlooked’ says Denplan

 

Following the unveiling of the Government’s long-anticipated Childhood Obesity Strategy, the UK’s leading dental payment plan provider, Denplan, has criticised the plan for overlooking oral health.

“The strategy shows small steps in the right direction but has ultimately been widely slammed by campaigners as being ‘weak’ and ‘watered down’,” says Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “Not only does the strategy omit the desired restriction on junk food advertising and multibuy promotions, it was also hugely disappointing to see that childhood tooth decay was only referenced once in the entire report. Although the strategy focuses on obesity, the knock-on effects of implementing tougher sugar restrictions on manufacturers and retailers could only have been positive for our children’s dental health too.”

The strategy fails in the eyes of many health experts, campaigners, and MPs to fully tackle the issue of unhealthy eating habits and does not impose tough enough restrictions on manufacturers and retailers.

Central to the Strategy is the Government’s ‘challenge’ to manufacturers and retailers to voluntarily reduce the sugar content of produce popular with children by 20 percent by 2020, with a five percent reduction in the first year. George Osborne’s already-announced sugar tax on soft drinks was also referenced in the plan, but the expected restrictions on junk food advertising during peak family TV shows and bans on supermarket cut-price promotions on unhealthy foods were ignored.

“It’s fair to say that the long-anticipated Childhood Obesity Strategy was expected to be a lot more robust,” says Henry. “Asking manufacturers and retailers to reduce sugar content on a voluntary basis may not achieve what is needed to both reduce childhood obesity and tooth decay. Far too many children experience tooth decay, and it remains the single most common reason for five to nine year olds in England to be admitted to hospital, with many of those children needing multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic.” [1]

 

 

 

 

 

About Denplan

Denplan is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years and today the company is owned by Simplyhealth. Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to budget for their private dental care by spreading the cost through a fixed monthly fee. We support regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.

 

For further information visit www.denplan.co.uk. For oral health tips and advice visit www.myteeth.co.uk. Patient enquiries telephone: 0800 401 402   Dentist enquiries telephone: 0800 328 3223

  • Denplan Care: all routine and restorative care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Essentials: routine care only + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Plans for Children: routine and other agreed care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Membership Plan: registered with the dentist + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Emergency: worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover only
  • Company Dental Plans: company funded, voluntary and flexible benefit schemes

Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training, plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.

 

For more information about Denplan:

Sara Elliott

Denplan Press Office

Tel: 01962 828 194

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Dental Apps for your phone

Dental Apps for your phone

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Reflecting on Insight

Reflecting on Insight

Insight is a wonderful thing

It carries so many meanings.

 

The GDPs view

Many of you demonstrate it in your daily work, by understanding what makes patients tick. They say one thing to you and you apply years of experience, so that after a few moments of reflection, you translate what the patient just said into a proposal for treatment with a couple of options. Our younger colleagues of course find this the hard bit of clinical practice, but with experience time and dedication all Dentists and DCPs in patient contact can become masters of this art.

At the other extreme, when it all goes wrong and some of our colleagues face GDC proceedings, the ability to reflect upon your circumstances is critical. The ability to show insight at the events that led to the GDC may be critical to a Panel taking a benevolent view.

Insight is an essential attribute for any dentist.  For sure, lack of an ability to apply insight will often lead to trouble. It may compromise your relationship with your patient. You may finish up treating a patient despite the warning signs being there perhaps in the body language, or in the tone of voice used during a conversation.

 

Time? Not a lot of it about!

 

We recognise the application of insight as a skill and an attribute amongst our colleagues, and we admire those who have mastered the art of its use.

Of course the need to reflect and to gain insight require something that your NHS masters are reluctant to give you too much of: time

 

Even the GDC require time to reflect and gain insight. 

So why is it that I think the top of the GDC may lack leadership, and the insight that is required to be effective?

There are at the GDC six Registrant members of the Council and numerous panel members who all, in their work and their practice have to find time to reflect and develop appropriate insight into their cases of regulatory work.

 

The Times -  6th August 2016

 

So it was with some surprise that the Chairman of the GDC, a certain Dr William Moyes PhD Esq, found himself demonstrating what seems to be a surprising ignoranceof the workings of NHS funded dentistry at the weekend, if The Times quote is to be believed.

Many of you will of course regard the summer as the season of slow news and will know that dentists are an easy target.  If I were you I should take it as a compliment.

What never fails to amaze me though is how the media absolutely fail to gain any true understanding, insight dare I say, of the problems associated with the Government offering for the nations dental care

And so it was in last Saturday’s edition of The Times. Front page news no less. It was probably pure coincidence that the de Mello case was about to be started at the GDC.  In fact, it was – a leading colleague single-handedly was trying to have the issue properly addressed. It is now behind a pay wall, but I have copied it below.

 

The Thunderer bellowed …

 

The article so nearly nails the issues, and in many respects it almost goes so far as to highlight “The Big Lie” and identify the lack of “Clarity of the Deal”.  A big up to our colleague, Dr Kotari, for getting “High Street Dentistry” on the broadsheet agenda. Patently he did not write the copy.

The message was clear though. Even someone without deep insight into the NHS Dental Service can see it is trying to do too little for too many.  There is only a certain amount of money, and the way it is spent simply does not allow for the provision of a broad range of highly complex procedures for everyone.  There is a very good blog on the BDA site reflecting after this article by a young colleague Dr Robert Chaffe at https://bdaconnect.bda.org/bad-dental-press/ .  The BDA through Dr Mick Armstrong were pretty robust in their reponse at  https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/bda-response-to-the-times .

 

And as FtP numbers prove, the dentist’s lack of time to reflect and develop insight into the problems of a patient cause that patient to feel abused and make that first GDC contact.

 

It’s not a difficult loop to get your head around, is it Dr Moyes?

 

Clearly, it’s about clarity

 

Anyone with half a brain can see that the future must involve a clear demarcation of what is and what is not available as NHS treatment. The post-code lottery that is exemplified by the extraction -versus- endodontic treatment fiasco reveals the problem that everyone is shouting about.  The only people who will not engage on this matter for no other reason than political fear are the dunderheads at the Department of Health.  Even the BDA recognise that it will have to come - but everytime it is mentioned at DH or NHSE level senior officials shake their heads. "Can't be done dear chap".

 

UDA Targets are set by …

 

The message is equally clear about high levels of UDA targets – the dentists do not set these. The Local Area Teams do.  In cases such as that of Dr de Mello, these colleagues may genuinely think they are doing the Governments dirty work for them in an efficient manner, bringing access to the masses at minimal cost.  That is what the Government want, isn’t it?  Dentistry is a broad church and while I would not poersonally be able to cope with a high UDA contract requirement, I know some can.  Does that make them wrong in themnselves?

When I wonder will NHS management be called to account instead of the dentist who is the low hanging fruit of accountability? 

What’s that you say? Never?

 

Soundbites

 

So when Dr Moyes, as GDC Chairman is reported in The Times as stating on behalf of the GDC, and I quote from the article:

The General Dental Council says that it cannot act because a lack of professional guidance allows dentists to claim that extraction is a legitimate option. “I’m sure that if patients had a full understanding they’d be quite appalled,” Bill Moyes, the council chairman, said.

What exactly can he mean? Is he saying there is a massive problem? Or is he demonstrating considerable ignorance similar to that which his infamous Pendlebury Lecture highlighted? Shall we assume Mr Chris Smyth, Times Health Editor, is including a quote relevant to the thrust of the article for now.

Can Dr Moyes really have so little insight into the working of dental practice?  It certainly looks like it.

Did Dr Moyes not reflect upon the magnitude of the meaning of his comments?  It certainly appears not. With that one comment Dr Moyes has revealed all that is wrong with his Chairmanship of the Council.

We now have a decent working team in the GDC Executive Leadership. But the Chairman has revealed that he is not neutral, and strategy driven. Instead, he appears to be a simple supporter of that broad-brush vox-pop opinion that “all dentists are trying it on”.

 

Last call for Dr Moyes…

 

The time has come for the Chairman of Council to shape up, learn about the long standing problems of NHS funding of dentistry and take on the causative Department of Health as part of the GDCs Strategic role.

Or he must step aside and let a more capable person take the role on. 

 

It IS clear that it is time for Dr Moyes to reflect upon his position, for the sake of the profession he seeks to regulate and yet for which he patently has scant regard.

 

 

Slow news day my foot – have a great break if you are away.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

TIMES INVESTIGATION
The great dental rip-off
Thousands of teeth needlessly extracted as surgeries accused of putting profit before patients

 

Chris Smyth, Health Editor | Katie Gibbons
August 6 2016, 12:01am,
The Times

Regulators said that dentists were extracting teeth to avoid offering complex treatment, for which they are paid the same by the health service

Thousands of people are losing teeth needlessly because it is more lucrative for NHS dentists to take them out than try to save them, an investigation by The Times has found.

Regulators said that dentists were extracting teeth to avoid offering complex treatment, for which they are paid the same by the health service. The investigation has also found that some dentists earn almost £500,000 a year in a system that rewards them for cramming in as many patients as they can.

Dozens are claiming for the equivalent of more than 60 check-ups a day, in what has been condemned as an unethical conveyor-belt approach to patients. The upper limit is considered to be 30 a day for one dentist.

Under reforms introduced a decade ago, dentists are paid about £25 for every “unit of dental activity” (UDA) that they carry out. Each check-up, or simple examination, is classed as one UDA; tooth extractions count as three, along with fillings and root canal work, irrespective of how long the treatment takes. Root canal treatment usually lasts more than twice as long as an extraction.

NHS figures seen by The Times show that 30 dentists were paid for more than 15,000 UDAs last year — the equivalent of about 60 simple appointments a day over a standard working week. Ten dentists were paid for more than 18,000 UDAs, equivalent to about £450,000.

Alex Wild, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a public spending watchdog, said: “The amount of work dentists do will obviously vary significantly, but the figures at the top end appear totally implausible . . . an urgent review is essential.”

Dentists routinely weigh up how much time and treatment a patient needs against a desire to maximise earnings, say professional leaders who concede that the payment system is causing an “ethical compromise”.

The warning comes before the disciplinary hearing next week of the dentist responsible for the biggest patient alert in NHS history. More than 20,000 people treated by Desmond D’Mello, 62, were called for HIV and hepatitis testing after he allegedly failed to change gloves or clean equipment between appointments in an attempt to see as many patients as possible.

Mike Waplington, president of the British Endodontic Society of root canal specialists, said that extractions had jumped by a fifth and root canal treatment had fallen by almost half after the contract that paid the same for both was introduced in 2006. Root canal treatment could take three times as long as an extraction. “There is an incentive from the system and some dentists may say to patients ‘I can take this tooth out simply’.”

More than two million teeth were taken out on the NHS last year, but Mr Waplington said that many could have been saved, estimating “over the lifetime of the contract it would have affected tens of thousands of teeth”.

Many dentists also feel more comfortable taking teeth out, as only 277 out of more than 40,000 are registered as specialists in root canal work.

Trevor Lamb, co-founder of the Saving Teeth Awareness Campaign, said: “The public are too quick to accept that teeth should be removed. They are unaware of the alternatives and some dentists exploit this. You wouldn’t go into A&E with a broken arm and expect it to be amputated.”

At least 2,000 dentists claimed for more than 8,000 UDAs, equivalent to the upper limit of about 30 check-ups a day. Neel Kothari, a Cambridgeshire dentist seeking reforms, said that it was difficult to do more “in any ethical sense”, with 60 patients a day impossible without cutting corners.

He warned that dentists intent on maximising income might skimp on treatment as well as hygiene. “It’s as if you went to a top restaurant and they served you a Big Mac disguised as a gourmet burger,” he said.

Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “To do a proper assessment of the patient would probably take 20 minutes. But that hasn’t been what the health service has been paying for. There is a bit of an ethical compromise.”

The General Dental Council says that it cannot act because a lack of professional guidance allows dentists to claim that extraction is a legitimate option. “I’m sure that if patients had a full understanding they’d be quite appalled,” Bill Moyes, the council chairman, said.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said that a new contract was being tested, adding: “If a dentist was found to be needlessly removing teeth this would be a matter for the General Dental Council.”

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GDPUK Topic

https://www.gdpuk.com/forum/gdpuk-forum/the-saturday-times-front-page-the-great-dental-rip-off-22696?start=50#p250635

 

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Letter to The Times, Tuesday 9th August

 

Sir, Your report and editorial suggest that dentists can claim as many UDAs as they like. On the old system, dentists could earn more by carrying out more treatment, and the annual dental budget could only be estimated. The current contract was designed to allow a budget to be set in advance. Each dentist is contracted to carry out a certain number of UDAs a year. If a dentist exceeds the number of UDAs contracted to them they get no additional pay. If they fail to complete the contracted number, their fees are clawed back. The dentists have to tender for contracts each year. Whose fault is it if dentists are paid for a large number of UDAs? However, to claim that the upper limit of patients is 30 per day is unrealistic. In the 1990s I used to work with three staffed surgeries and treated 70 to 80 patients a day. That would equate to more than 30,000 UDAs a year. On a four-day week, I hardly ever ran late.

William Eckhardt

Retired general dental practitioner

Haxey, S Yorks

 

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Toothpaste is Dead

Toothpaste is dead

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Expand your CPD horizons with Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson, the makers of LISTERINE®, are delighted to bring you new online content, to help support the ongoing CPD needs of dental healthcare professionals in improving and maintaining the oral health of their patients.

 

This is free to complete and each module accounts for 1 hour of verifiable CPD.

 

Through our programme, we aim to deliver recent clinical findings, useful information for in-practice management of oral diseases and patient communication strategies for improved preventive home care, as well considering the effects of lifestyle and other external influences on your patients’ oral health.

 

Please visit http://www.listerineprofessional.co.uk/cpd-educational-programme to earn verifiable hours from our continuously expanding library, including our newest pieces on:

• The adjunctive benefits of a daily use mouthwash

• Evidence-based decision making

• Communicating with children

• Dr Elizabeth Kay: Psychology in communicating with patients.

 

In addition, soon to be made available are CPD articles on:

• Dental care for older patients

•  In support of prevention

 

Upon completing each module successfully, you can either select to save and print your certificate and/ or have a copy emailed to you directly.

 

For further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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Dental Drama

Dental Drama

Continue reading
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Refreshingly reliable - Dean Hallows

Refreshingly reliable - Dean Hallows

A dental chair is the focal point of any surgery: the central cog in a machine that allows for the provision of exceptional treatment. These products see almost constant use throughout the day and the average practitioner can expect to spend almost 27,000 hours with each chair over the course of their career. As such, it is vitally important for practitioners to choose wisely when selecting a new chair, to ensure that they are making a wise investment for the future.

The first consideration is reliability. Any savings made on a cheaper model will likely be lost if constant and expensive repairs are needed to maintain a chair’s ability to perform at its best, let alone the lost business caused by chair down-time. Investing in a dental chair that has renowned reliability will eliminate these unnecessary overheads. It will also provide essential peace of mind; indeed, being able to trust in the reliability of such an important piece of equipment is a factor that simply cannot be overstated.

It’s also important to invest in a chair that can stand the test of time – that’s future proof. Dentistry nowadays is advancing at an astronomical rate, with new innovations appearing on the market on an increasingly regular basis. This makes it very easy for some products to depreciate in value incredibly quickly. Therefore, a chair that can easily be adapted or updated to suit the rapidly changing needs of modern dentistry is a must.

On this basis, it is hard to beat an A-dec dental chair. With a longstanding reputation of unsurpassable quality, A-dec chairs are also easy to refresh and upgrade. They have both the durability to last for years and the flexibility to change when needed. This is something that Dr Wayne Williams, principal of Smile20 in Wokingham recently discovered. He says:

“I’ve had my A-dec 500 for 12 years. In fact, I think it was one of the first of this model to be installed in the UK. It’s an incredibly reliable chair – in over the decade I’ve worked with it, I’ve never felt the need to change it. Recently, however, I did make a small change: I had one of the new A-dec LED lights fitted.

“The upgrade process was very easy and it took less than an hour for our A-dec authorised dealer, Marz Dental Equipment Ltd., to come and do the installation. We’re so impressed that we are likely to do the same refreshing upgrade for our other chairs too – and I envisage being able to continue to use them for many years more!”

A-dec focusses on providing the equipment that dentists need to deliver first rate dentistry. Since modern dentists need the ability to be able to adapt to new technologies, techniques and materials, A-dec has worked hard to ensure that they have the products that allows them to do so.

With equipment solutions that allow for easy and innovative upgrades, A-dec has future proofed its chairs, allowing practitioners to change the individual aspects of their chairs to suit their individual needs, across many years of use.

And, indeed, Dr Williams’s example is simply the tip of the iceberg; A-dec chairs are extremely versatile, allowing practitioners to choose precisely the options that compliment their clinical preferences. For instance, another dentist, Dr Patricia Seyf from Seyf Dental in Barnes, has recently purchased an A-dec 500 without a cuspidor. She says: “Having no spittoon makes for a far more hygienic treatment centre. I can autoclave my funnels between each appointment and be completely assured that my surgery is cross-contamination compliant. It also allows me to have a direct, face-to-face conversation with the patient – something which I think is very important for putting them at ease and encouraging a strong patient-practitioner relationship.”

 

This level of customisation is indispensable. Practitioners can quite literally purchase the dental chair they need at the time – without having to worry about what is coming around the corner, since they also have the option to refresh and upgrade at a later date.

 

Investing in an A-dec chair is investing in your future in the dental profession. No matter what challenges or changes come about in the years to come, A-dec will continue to provide relevant and applicable options to those dentists aspiring to offer the very best dentistry.

 

For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit

www.a-dec.co.uk or call on 0800 2332 85

 

 

 

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Highly experienced Theresa Riley joins Patient Plan Direct

Highly experienced Theresa Riley joins Patient Plan Direct

 

 

Midlands based Theresa Riley has joined cost effective and technology embracing dental payment plan provider – Patient Plan Direct, heading up the company’s business development support in the Midlands. Theresa brings to Patient Plan Direct a huge amount of experience in nurturing practice’s private growth and the implementation and development of private dental plans.

Following an initial career in dental nursing, dental radiography and teaching, Theresa moved into dental corporate management and quickly advanced up the career ladder to run the specialist department within one of the UK’s largest dental corporates. Thereafter, Theresa has held several senior management and business consultancy roles, recently consulting on the design and implementation of a dental plan administration solution, thereafter introducing the plan solution at several practices either converting from NHS to Private or switching their plans from another plan provider.

With regards to her new role, Theresa commented; “I wanted to further expand my knowledge and work within the plan sector, but due to my previous consulting work it just wasn’t possible, so when the opportunity came along to join Patient Plan Direct, the company, role and team seemed the perfect fit. I can’t wait to get started”.

Simon Reynolds, commercial director of Patient Plan Direct explains; “As we continue to evolve and build on our strong reputation as a low cost plan provider offering first-class support, Theresa brings to the mix an unrivalled level of experience and knowledge. Theresa’s skills set will benefit the practices we already work with in further developing and growing their respective dental plans, as well as new practices not already working with Patient Plan Direct who wish to take advantage of maximising the profitability of a dental plan at their practice.”

Theresa added; “I was attracted to joining the Patient Plan Direct team after taking the time to understand more about their service proposition and technology. Patient Plan Direct’s streamlined, practice branded and web based approach to dental plan administration along with the support and advice that is delivered for £1 per patient per month is the right fit for so many practices both clinically, financially and operationally.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting Patient Plan Direct’s existing clients and seeing how I can help them grow their plan patient base further as well as connecting to new clients to see how our solution can benefit their practice whatever their objective; transferring from another plan provider to make significant cost savings, launching a plan for the first time or making a move away from the NHS.”

Patient Plan Direct is a highly cost effective dental plan provider working with over 300 practices nationwide, embracing 21st century web-based technology to offer a sophisticated solution to running practice-branded dental plans. Thanks to an administration fee of £1.00 per patient per month (including worldwide dental A&E cover and VAT), Patient Plan Direct often proves to be 2-3 times more cost effective than working with other plan providers.

 

 

Web: www.patientplandirect.co.uk

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 08448486888

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Denplan’s response to the recent debate on the benefits of flossing

Denplan’s response to the recent debate on the benefits of flossing

 

 

Following the recent announcement that the US government is withdrawing its recommendation to floss from its dietary guidelines, based on the lack of definitive scientific studies to prove its effectiveness on gum disease and tooth decay, Denplan has shared its response.

“When talking about evidence and studies, it’s important to distinguish between the terms ‘flossing’ and ‘cleaning between teeth’,” says Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “Floss, whether it’s tape or string, is only one of the methods to clean between teeth and some studies have shown that traditional floss is not always effective for some people. This is partly due to patients not always being able to use the floss correctly and the fact that a thin piece of floss might only remove a proportion of plaque and food particles between teeth. There is, however, strong evidence* to show that other methods of cleaning between teeth, such as interdental brushes, are highly effective in removing plaque and helping to prevent or treat gum disease.

“Tooth brushing only reaches around 70 percent of tooth surfaces, so if you’re not regularly removing plaque from in between your teeth, there will be bacteria building up and potentially causing problems. This includes an increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.

“It’s vitally important that patients don’t misinterpret the US government’s recent withdrawal of the recommendation to floss as a message that they only need to brush their teeth, and never clean in between them. We would strongly urge patients to follow an evidence-based approach continue to clean between their teeth, as advised by their dental team, using whatever method work best for them, be it floss, interdental brushes or waterpiks.”

 

 

*Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19820738

                 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19138177

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Henry Clover

Henry Clover joined the Professional Services team of Denplan in 1998, having worked as a dentist for 17 years looking after patients’ oral health in his own practice. He now holds the position of Director of Dental Policy at Simplyhealth and is also Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. Henry playing a vital role in Simplyhealth’s Leadership Team and is at the forefront of private dentistry liaising with more than 6,500 member dentists.

About Denplan

Denplan is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years and today the company is owned by Simplyhealth. Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to budget for their private dental care by spreading the cost through a fixed monthly fee. We support regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.

For further information visit www.denplan.co.uk. For oral health tips and advice visit www.myteeth.co.uk. Patient enquiries telephone: 0800 401 402   Dentist enquiries telephone: 0800 328 3223

  • Denplan Care: all routine and restorative care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Essentials: routine care only + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Plans for Children: routine and other agreed care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Membership Plan: registered with the dentist + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
  • Denplan Emergency: worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover only
  • Company Dental Plans: company funded, voluntary and flexible benefit schemes

Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training, plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.

 

For more information about Denplan:

Sara Elliott

Denplan Press Office

Tel: 01962 828 194

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Follow My Leader...

Follow My Leader...

Just recently things have been relatively quiet in the area that I usually write about. The GDC seems to have realized the mistakes of the past, and the new executive appears to be making overtures about re-engaging with the profession. Slowly but surely many think there might be a break in the thunderclouds and a glint of sunlight over the profession where our continued regulation is concerned.


One would like to think that there are significant inroads being made by the BDA on our behalf as a result of the regime change at Wimpole Street. However, I think many will doubt this, especially when the GDC themselves have actually questioned who leads our profession.
Surely this is an indictment of the profile of our Trade Union and representative body if those at the regulator have to question whom is actually in charge of dentists? It isn’t the Chief Dental Officer, who is more of an advisor to Government than a figure the profession can rally round. Its definitely not the Head of the GDC. There are many ‘celebrity’ figures in Uk dentistry who give themselves the title of ‘KOL’ (key opinion leaders) but again they are really not the leaders of our profession, often just opinionated souls who have some form of medium through which to express their thoughts (and pictures of their cars!). It’s certainly not organisations like Dental Fusion (or should that be Dental Futile?) and other professional organisations who have very limited memberships.

It really is quite obvious then that it should be the BDA. Whilst there are some strong figures within the organisation, and the work that is done by the employees is excellent, it still seems to suffer from an apparent inertia and lack of awareness as to what it could actually achieve. Whilst it no doubt provides some excellent member services, (such as employment and general advice and the library) it seems to frequently live up to the expectation of the profession as a body that drives really changes.

Take for instance the removal of registrant addresses from the GDC website. I’m pretty sure this has been on the ‘Work in Progress’ list at the BDA for some time. Yet it takes one petition by an individual and the GDC not only look at it, but actually manage somehow to change the entrenched view of Chairman Moyes himself. Now the BDA can say that they have done lots behind the scene, but there’s no use doing this and seemingly not achieving anything, especially if it has been going on for years. To then jump on the bandwagon and claim that the issue being raised by the GDC earlier this year was solely as a result of the BDA exerting pressure (when I happen to know that people at the GDC acknowledge the pressure came from the petition) is a little bit naughty.

The BDA is also the only dental body invited to the table with the DoH when negotiating a new contract. To give an analogy from mother nature; This is a little bit like a seal sitting down with a Great White shark and agreeing on the least painful way of being eaten alive. Evolution has taught many creatures to not get involved too closely with the apex predators, yet the BDA continues its same path in the forlorn hope that one day the shark might have indigestion and the seals won’t get eaten. It will always argue that it is there because of those of its members who haven’t any option other than to be seals and swim in the same sea as the shark. Evolution by supporting other options for these practices has always seemed to be low down on the agenda. Shouldn’t leaders of the seals be telling its members to try to keep away from sharks? Won’t the sharks have to evolve themselves or eventually starve to death?

Another example is the pressure that the BDA should still be putting on the CQC. The CQC has not been the subject of my blog at all in the past, and given the fact that I have been a huge critic of them has surprised even me that they haven’t suffered from my ire yet. Since the appointment of John Milne as their National Advisor there has been a distinct increase in the quality of the inspections generally. There has also been the publication of the ‘Mythbuster’ series of articles on the CQC Website . However, it is apparent that even these can suffer from misinformation. In particular the one regarding radiation protection is riddled with errors that make the further entrenching of incorrect information more likely to be referred to as absolutes when they are not. The fact that these errors might then be referred to by the GDC as the CQC is seen as an authority when charges are brought against a practitioner mean that there can be potential for miscarriages of natural justice.

Whilst there is no intention to mislead, when there is an incorrect interpretation of the legislation, rules, regulations etc. by such as the CQC (who we can argue should be an authority themselves anyhow and shouldn’t make errors like this at all) then the BDA should be swift to bring these errors to the attention of the CQC and more importantly the profession in general. This shouldn’t be in a ‘behind the scenes’ manner, but much more publically. We would then know what they are doing. This is not to embarrass the CQC in any way, but merely to demonstrate the obvious authority the BDA should be seen to have, and command the appropriate respect. Once again these errors were brought to the CQCs attention by an individual.

There is a quite frankly ridiculous amount of legislation that governs the practice of dentistry these days, so much so that it is virtually impossible for individuals to keep on top of all the different aspects of compliance. It is vital therefore that whoever leads our profession has an organizational structure that should know all the things governing and legislating dentistry so intimately that at the first sign of a new urban myth appearing somewhere (and they should be aware of where all these myths originate – looking on GDPUK r Facebook is usually a good place to start) there should be a very public and robust re-affirmation of the real legislative and regulatory situation, and with absolute authority and clarity such that the myth is immediately disproved.

I’m sure we can already hear the cries from the BDA that they already work in this way at the moment for their members, and this is true to a degree, but this is usually in a completely reactive and individual manner, and you usually have to actively seek out this information yourselves. Given the sheer volume of stuff that is out there to comply with it is very simple to get caught up in some of the less controversial urban myths such that they become the new fact, and thus perpetuated more. So you actually have to know something is wrong before you question it, otherwise you will automatically accept it is true and thus it becomes the ‘done thing’ as everyone ends up believing the myth. Just like the obligation to record batch numbers of LA in the notes is a myth.

What about jumping on the incorrect use of standards by Expert Witnesses when these are used in GDC hearings and further entrenched by the rulings? Why hasn’t the BDA produced a definitive standards document regarding an acceptable (not minimum or aspirational) standard that items like a simple dental examination should include, and be recorded in the notes? After all, there is enough expertise within the BDA that a consensus document could be produced simply enough. If it has (and I may have missed it admittedly), why aren’t the Expert Witnesses then referring to a document like this as authority? Why haven’t the Indemnifiers mentioned the existence of a document like this in the defence of colleagues? (and why haven’t the indemnifiers produced one either, perhaps by working with the BDA on it?).

Why haven’t the BDA come down like a ton of bricks very vocally on those LAT’s that transgress or selectively (incorrectly) interpret the regulations? If they have, why haven’t they shamed them so publically so that other LAT’s know they are a force to be reckoned with and won’t try it on with other practitioners?

Finally, what about the headlines in The Times this weekend about (surprise surprise) dentists ripping off the public? There doesn’t seem to have been any attempt by the journalists to even contact the BDA for a comment. Surely one of the first organisations to be approached for comment on a story like this would be the association that is supposed to lead dentists. Or is it that even the press think that a comment from the BDA would be about as strong as a wet tissue? At such a time there should be an automatic and robust defense of the professionals, whilst simultaneously showing the failure of the SYSTEM that they work within, and laying the blame squarely at the door of the DoH and Government.


The BDA really should sometimes show its teeth much more readily (no pun intended). But the only time they have done anything approaching this was the Judicial Review into the ARF in 2014. Even then there didn’t seem to be an ability to press home the victory and hitting the GDC whilst they were still reeling. Rather it seemed to all be ‘behind the scenes’ as usual and waiting for the Health Select Committee to grill Gilvarry and Moyes. Where was the tactical approach of ‘putting the boot’ in when it was most needed?

I will admit that political activism often needs to be done behind closed doors, but we need to know that when this is what we are told is happening, something IS actually being done, rather than just being talked about. The reputation of the BDA is such that many feel it never seems to be achieving anything, and therefore people think that it never does. There are so many issues in dentistry that appear at any time, and the BDA suffers from having to be everything to everyone. But surely there is a common theme amongst all in dentistry that our professional association should be there to lead the way vocally and proactively. Instead it often appears to be more a reactionary organisation with the attitude of ‘mother knows best’.

Well I’m sorry, but given the achievements that individuals have made recently in engaging more successfully than the BDA have, would lead me to suggest far from ‘mother knowing best’, mother is now someone who needs to realize they might actually be past it and new ideas and a new approach are needed.

There are a few vocal people in the BDA, but there are also others who seem to be anonymous and conspicuous by their seeming lack of inspirational leadership. Leadership means setting a visible and vocal example that others can then assist them in taking things forward and more importantly want to take forwards despite the obstacles in the way. It’s certainly not getting behind other people’s crusades and then saying look at what we did to get this done. I know of a good many people within dentistry, many of them household names (and for all the right reasons) who are disillusioned that there is no flag we can rally round as a profession; so much so that groups of like minded individuals are now beginning to draw together in order to do what the BDA should be out there doing.

 

Which is to Lead the profession.

At the same time, there has to be an acknowledgement of the postion that dentistry is in within the bigger sphere of healthcare. We will never have the public support that the doctors can call on, and we only have to look at the way the Government have played hard-ball with them over the recent contract ‘negotiations’. Lets face reality here. We will not get any concessions, there will be no more money and the conditions will not improve. We have to accept this and move on. The definition of stupid is often said to be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think we can quite easily argue the BDA continue to do the same thing over and over again…..

No doubt many of the BDA hierarchy will be offended at this piece; but quite frankly they perhaps need to be. I’m sure there will be suggestions that I should put my money where my mouth is and stand for the PEC. Perhaps they are right. But since I don’t have all the answers I shouldn’t put myself forward as a leader of the profession. But even if I did, the problem with this is that one person will always come up against the establishment, which believes ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ and ‘we must think of the members’. Paralysis by fear of the unknown results. It would need a radical change to the entire structure and I’m not convinced the more traditionalist members within the BDA would go for that. Open up votes to those disillusioned and no longer members of the BDA then it might be a completely different situation, but then that obviously couldn’t happen.

I’m sure those most annoyed with this blog will be those who have the least reason to be because they probably feel I am not acknowledging the things that the BDA have actually achieved. I’m not having a go at any individuals; but it’s those who wear the BDA badge and don’t do anything vocally, visibly, or productively to manifest change. Being hamstrung by the often archaic position of the trade union often means it is easier to maintain the status quo or just score pyrrhic victories than really trying to elicit the change that is needed.

The recent membership questionnaire is a start to finding out just what members think; the problem is it’s not the members they need to be asking how the BDA can engage more. The very people who are disillusioned with the BDA are not going to be members by definition. Bleating on about joining so your voice can be heard is beginning to wear a bit thin to many of us I’m fairly sure; why join something so you can submit a survey once in a blue moon especially when they refuse to listen to why you might not be a member? It’s a Catch 22 situation that needs to be broken.
 

The BDA needs to ask the ENTIRE profession what it thinks about it. The GDC seems like it is going to try to engage with us as a result of unprecedented problems and the change in executive manpower bringing a fresh look at the issues. If they can do it when constrained by legislation then there is no reason the BDA can’t either.

Its time for the BDA to show just what sort of leaders they really have.

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Small things can make a big impact

Small things can make a big impact

There are so many little things that can impact considerably on our life. The world has recently been subjected to the devastating effects of the tiny Aedes aegypti mosquito that is believed to be responsible for spreading the Zika virus, causing microcephaly in new-born babies. Equally, small gestures such as a friendly smile, a word of encouragement or a genuine ‘thank you’ can lift the spirits and really make a difference to the day. Minor things such as wearing our favourite jumper, having a good belly laugh or getting into a bed with clean sheets, can make a big impact on how we feel. Similarly, by making a slightly different lifestyle choice, taking a different attitude to a matter or discovering a slightly more efficient way of carrying out a task has the potential to make giant strides in our success.

It is not always possible to change or improve some things immediately but by beginning with small manageable activities there is much more chance of achieving bigger targets. Take the marathon runner as an example; most people cannot wake up one morning and decide they will run for 26 miles, they need to begin slowly and gradually to build and develop the stamina they need to run long distance. Another example is when we are faced with never-ending list of little jobs to do. It can soon become overwhelming even though they may not critical. However the completion of just one small task can make us feel a whole lot better. It is the same for dental patients, if they make regular appointments that only take a little time, they can avoid lengthy, more invasive treatments. Dental professionals constantly reinforce oral hygiene instructions because if patients pay attention to these details much larger dental issues can be prevented.

Inflammation of the gums or gingivitis is another case in point. As dental professionals will know, if detected early it can be treated successfully with relatively simple steps before it develops into more serious periodontal disease. When periodontal disease develops however, pockets form between the teeth and gums that collect plaque and rapidly breed perio-pathogenic bacteria. If this is not addressed damage to the supporting tissues can occur and ultimately lead to tooth loss. To treat these cases effectively, practitioners must first perform root surface debridement (RSD) to clear away toxins and often follow this with maintenance therapy to prevent recolonisation. PerioChip® is an ideal adjunct for this purpose, because although very tiny, is able eliminate a wide spectrum of microbes. PerioChip® can be placed directly into periodontal pockets of 5mm or deeper and slowly releases chlorhexidine digluconate to eliminate 99% of perio-pathogenic bacteria over 7-10 days.[1] This little chip then continues to suppress the growth of microflora for up to 11 weeks[2] allowing time for pockets to heal and the teeth to stabilise. Clinical studies showed a pocket reduction of more than 2mm in almost three quarters of patients when PerioChip® was placed every three months in combination with RSD,[3] which confirms that something very small can make a substantial difference.

 

PerioChip® is available exclusively from Dexcel Dental, to order or for further information call 0800 013 2333 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Summary of product link;

http://www.old.health.gov.il/units/pharmacy/trufot/alonim/PerioChip_dr_1337488974840.pdf

 

 


[1] Jeffcoat M K et al. Adjunctive use of a subgingival controlled-release chlorhexidine chip. J Periodontal 1998; 69 (9): 989 – 997. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9776027 [Accessed 17th February 2016]

[2] Summary of Characteristics PerioChip® http://www.old.health.gov.il/units/pharmacy/trufot/alonim/PerioChip_dr_1337488974840.pdf [Accessed 17th February 2016]

[3] Soslkolne W.A et al. Probing depth changes following 2 years of periodontal maintenance therapy including adjunctive controlled-release of chlorhexidine. JOP 2003;74:420-427. http://www.joponline.org/doi/abs/10.1902/jop.2003.74.4.420 [Accessed 17th February 2016]

 

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The GDC Specialist Lists; What does the future hold?

The GDC Specialist Lists; What does the future hold?

The GDC Specialist Lists were introduced in the UK in 1998 as a result of developments in European Legislation. As of October 2015 of the 40,953 registered dentists there were 4342 registered specialists; an increase of 31 on the previous year. A significant number of patients require specialist dental treatment each year; in 2012/13 approximately 3.5% of all NHS outpatient appointments were in a dental speciality clinic. There is no precise data as to the number of private treatments being carried out by specialists each year, but it is likely to be in the millions.

Whilst the state of the nation’s teeth used to be a cause for international mirth, over the last decade our love affair with cosmetic dentistry has blossomed. Implants are so popular that there are now calls for implant dentistry to be added to the already voluminous list of dental specialities; the UK has more recognised specialities than any other European country. On the face of it specialist dentistry is big business, but for who? Is it the practitioners themselves, or those who provide and regulate the training?

Becoming a Specialist:

One thing is clear, it is hard work. To be entitled to enter onto one of the specialist lists the dentist has to complete a recognised training programme, ranging from three to five years, have a National Training Number (NTN) and to hold the agreed qualification awarded by one of the Royal Colleges. In total there are in the region of 500 specialist trainees each academic year; many of whom do sadly not complete or meet the programme requirements.

It is the GDC who set the standards required for specialist training, approving the curricula and quality assurance. The Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry (JCPTD), through the Royal Colleges and the Specialist Advisory Committees (SACs), is responsible for the development of curricula, devising assessments and examinations and making recommendations to the GDC on specialty training.  The GDC embarked upon a review of the regulation of specialists in 2015; our dental bulletin considering this review can be found here. The second stage of the review began in 2016, and the first results are expected in the autumn. They propose creating a generic template that will serve the basis for all the speciality curricula, bringing a uniformity of language and structure.

The alternative “assessed route” is also under consideration by the GDC. This is where an applicant is required to illustrate to the GDC Specialist List Assessment Team that they have the knowledge and experience derived through academic or research work which they might reasonably be expected to acquire had they completed the specialist training. However, there is limited guidance from the GDC as to what this actually means, the approach to assessments lacks continuity, and applications are routinely returned having been deemed incomplete. Many applicants feel that the only way to ensure success is to seek legal assistance. What is clear is that clinical experience is not evidence of equivalence.

The decision of the GDC not to include clinical experience as admissible evidence is a frustrating one for many, particularly bearing in mind that many dentists were effectively passported onto the lists under the “grandfathering” scheme. This allowed experienced practitioners entrance to their chosen list where they could illustrate that they have the requisite knowledge and experience, wherever acquired. The scheme remained open for two years after the formation of each list. As such it is possible for dentists with no postgraduate qualifications and having passed no exit examination, such as the MRD or equivalent mono specialist exam, to hold the title of specialist.

Is this fair?

Patient safety must be paramount in this argument. The assessment of specialist trainees is so rigorous that members of the public can generally be satisfied that they are receiving treatment from an appropriately qualified dentist.  For those “assessed” or “grandfathered”, there is less clarity as the assessment criteria appears to be reasonably subjective, and dependent upon the assessors view of a paper application rather than any face to face assessment over time.

There are also a limited number of training posts available; and recent attempts by universities outside of the “Big Three”, KCL, The Eastman and Queen Mary’s, to increase supply has been met with some resistance.  The lack of available NTN’s has also frustrated many applicants hoping to enter onto a training post. The Dentists Gold Guide (June 2016) states that the purpose of NTNs is for “Education planning and management” enabling Postgraduate Deans to keep track of trainees and “Workforce information”, to document within each country and speciality how many trainees are in each programme and to provide information as to when training is likely to be completed. There is anecdotal evidence that some dentists working in hospitals and universities can wait years for a training number to become available. Whilst there is a clear advantage to requiring a minimum number of placements to ensure there are sufficient specialists available, it is hard to justify a cap on the maximum. A large number of specialists do not practice in the NHS, and commercial interests will inevitably dominate private practice. An increase in the number of specialists would allow greater freedom of choice and drive down costs for patients. Why not simply maintain competitive entry onto programmes and keep a register of all specialist trainees, doing away with the NTN system in its entirety. Thus removing the lottery of when a number may come up.

The inequality of the playing field for those entering training is another problem. A three to five year, expensive training programme and a limited number of NTNs inevitably means that established practitioners, particularly practice owners, can rarely afford to take the time or money out of running their businesses to undertake the programme. Many of these individuals have been honing particular specialist skills in practice for a decade and simply don’t require extensive clinical training; indeed it is not unheard of for dentists who have limited their practice to a particular area teaching on Masters programmes in their chosen field. They missed the grandfathering window, and can’t afford to have a three year career break, but they can’t rely on their considerable clinical experience to show that they are already practicing at the level of a specialist.

A further disparity arises in relation to European dentists registered in the UK. At present a broader test is applied to European Citizens than is applied to UK dentists, who are assessed on the basis of all their experience, including clinical. So whilst an extremely experienced Spanish endodontist may rely on the number of treatments she has completed in practice, her English equivalent cannot. Although the rules were designed to give individuals coming from European countries, that follow different training pathways and recognise different specialities, an equal playing field, they have arguably ended up allowing European applicants an easier ride. Of course, post Brexit, this may all change.

Looking to the future, what could the GDC do to improve the current position?

1.       They could scrap the assessed route in its entirety. This would ensure uniformity across the specialisms and create a clear quality control of all specialists.

2.       Alternatively they could include clinical experience as a factor in the current assessment process, applying the same equivalence rules to all practitioners, regardless of their origin. This would open up the lists to a vast number of practitioners and has the potential to drive up competition in the fields. However this process would be open to criticism as the assessment process is hugely subjective, and there is no hands-on assessment required.

3.       I would propose a third option. The GDC could create a more structured assessed process; mapping an individual’s experience, both academic, research and clinical, against the specialist training programme, require a minimum number of years PQE and the successful completion of the relevant exit exam for each speciality. There would remain an element of subjectivity of course, but considerably reduced, and a candidate’s ability would be appropriately tested through the examination. 

The GDCs 2015 review talked about “tightening up” the assessed access, but gave no guidance as to how this would be done. They also considered doing away with it in its entirety. That in my view would be a mistake. The assessed route allows diversity and experience that would be lost should all specialists follow the prescribed training programme. It would also unfairly discriminate against older applicants who would not have the years of practice ahead of them to recuperate the considerable costs involved. We wait in anticipation of the results of the next stage of the review, and can only hope that good sense prevails and a fit for purpose assessment route is unveiled.  

 

Julia Furley is a barrister with a special interest in dentistry. She has assisted and represented a large number of dentists at both the application and appeal stages of their specialist list applications and has an extremely good record of success. If you are interested in applying for entry onto the GDC specialist list you can email Julia on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us on 020 7388 1658.

 

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GDC Watch June 2016 - The Gold Standard Issue

GDC Watch June 2016 - The Gold Standard Issue

My understanding is that the GDC do not agree with the criticism that too high a standard is being applied in FtP hearings. As it happens, last month I was asked by a colleague for some concrete examples of use of the ‘gold standard’ by expert witnesses, so I went specifically looking for it in my review of June’s FtP hearings.

June kicked off with a performance review hearing of a plethora of clinical issues involving a non-engaging registrant who had neither attended nor provided any representation at either hearing, which is always a bad move in my opinion. The case was initially heard in May 2015. Professor Morganstein was instructed by the GDC in this case, and is still according to Google the Dean of Dentistry of the University of Buckingham Dental School that I’m not sure has any dental students. There was a fair amount of criticism in the charges levied at instances of alleged failed treatment and inadequate discussions which the panel did not find proved, and when an allegation that the registrant had provided inadequate care by not giving a patient with an orthodontic retainer specific advice on using a fluoride mouthwash, tooth brushing and reducing sugar consumption the determination states that the Committee considered the expert had applied the gold standard rather than that of the reasonable dentist.  This registrant was initially suspended for 12 months and then a further 12 months at the review hearing. The panel had no other choice due to the lack of engagement and attendance in the process and had there been any evidence of insight and remediation the registrant may well have been able to continue practising under conditions. It has been demonstrated in a paper written by Professor Kevin Dalton that registrants who do not attend their hearing and are unrepresented face a significantly higher risk of a high sanction being imposed than those who attend or are represented.

In another review case heard this month the GDC-appointed expert was found by the Committee to appear to be ‘applying a ‘gold standard’ with respect to the diagnostic quality of the radiographs’ at the initial hearing in January 2015. The lesson here is that coned off radiographs are not necessarily poorly-positioned if it is possible to get adequate diagnostic information from them. There is also reference to not recording LA batch numbers and expiry dates in this case which another ‘gold standard’ recording is keeping requirement at best.
Next up a Committee was of the opinion that: ‘in some cases, Mr Expert was advocating a ‘gold standard’.

Some examples of the not proved allegations in this case that probably fit into the ‘gold standard’ bracket included:

  • Not recording the clinical process involved to extract a tooth;
  • Not taking radiographs that the Committee considered were not actually clinically necessary
  • Not providing preventative advice (except that smoking advice was given);
  • Not adequately assessing levels of plaque and calculus (recording it is present was alleged to be not enough);
  • Not recording appropriate detail as to why crowns required re-cementing (the committee considered this to be self-evident);
  • Not recording dietary advice provided (the patient was caries-free).

So there are three cases here providing some evidence that the gold standard is/was being used (and being identified by Committees) in a sample of new and review hearings held only during June 2016. 

The statistics for June were:
Interim Orders held 20 new hearings and 13 review hearings resulting in:

  • 7 suspensions or suspension extensions;
  • 20 conditions orders or conditions orders extensions;
  • 5 no orders;
  • 1 conditions order revoked.

Practice committees held 29 new hearings and 4 review hearings resulting in:

  • 5 erasures;
  • 8 new suspensions, 1 suspension extensions and 1 suspension revoked;
  • 1 new condition orders, 1 extension of conditions orders and 1 conditions order raised to a suspension;
  • 4 reprimands;
  • 4 adjournments;
  • 1 not impaired;
  • 2 registration appeals (1 dismissed, 1 decision substituted);
  • 1 restoration hearing (refused);
  • 2 health related hearings with one suspension and 1 set of conditions replaced with a suspension;
  • 3 cases of no misconduct/facts found proved do not amount to misconduct.

Per registrant type there were 46 dentists, 7 dental nurses, 11 technicians and 2 clinical dental technicians involved in hearings this month.
June was a bit bare on any interesting charges such as bouncing balls of impression material in corridors, bringing children to work or having untidy hair. However there were a high number of erasures that month, and dental technicians brought in front of a PC or IOC for acting out of scope in June also featured quite heavily.
Briefly, the main reasons for erasure were:

  • Not having indemnity over an extended period and forging an indemnity certificate;
  • A conviction for fraud and false accounting;
  • Having a sexual relationship with a patient, providing free treatment in return for physical contact and dishonestly claiming to be a specialist whilst not on a specialist register;
  • Making decisions about treatment plans without informed consent, plus failing to engage (note that the registrant was not present and not represented);
  • Working as a hygienist when registered as a dental nurse, plus dishonest behaviour relating to a lack of indemnity and misleading behaviour relating to website material.

With regard to the technicians, pretty much all of these cases related to acting beyond scope; taking impressions when not trained to do so and working without a prescription. This is clearly an area that the GDC are tackling very proactively.
One no misconduct case was particularly interesting in terms of how it ever managed to get so far. It involved a registrant who had sent a letter to some patients of the practice asking for their consent to release their records to the GDC who were investigating a previous partner of the practice over financial irregularities on the basis of concern being reported by the registrant. The letter must have raised a few eyebrows as the GDC alleged that it was:
 

  • Designed to convey the impression that the correspondence was sent with the knowledge and consent of the GDC when this was not the case;
  • Designed to convey the impression that the correspondence was sent on behalf of the GDC when this was not the case;
  • that this was misleading and dishonest;
  • By stating in the letter that the colleague was currently the subject of an investigation by the GDC this was failing to treat the colleague fairly and with dignity;
  • By failing to inform the staff at the practice about the letter, the team members were not treated fairly and with dignity.

It is worth noting that Dental Protection had provided guidance and advice on this letter before it was sent, and the registrant had not discussed it with the staff in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, yet the case still progressed. The patients ought to have been told why their consent was being sought to hand over copies of their records in my view. So all in all, it appears to me that someone who fulfilled their professional duty to raise a concern and assist in an investigation found themselves on the wrong end of the FtP process by way of thanks. It is not clear to me what the GDC hoped to achieve by bringing this case, and how this will encourage or protect those who may need to raise concerns in the future.

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7182 Hits
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Maximising your Practice Management System

Maximising your Practice Management System

The vast majority of dental practices in the UK have some form of practice management software. It’s important to uses these systems to their full potential in order to truly maximise return on investment.

 

Organisation for All

It is not unusual for a dental business to operate from several geographical locations. This can create challenges in terms of communication and co-ordination from one site to another. The premium practice management systems currently on the market can easily cater for such situations; they allow “multiple clinic set-ups” meaning information is held on one central system that can be accessed from any approved location.

It is not just multiple sites that can test the effectiveness of communication channels in a business, but also the management of every member of the dental team’s diary. Dental care professionals, treatment co-ordinators, oral health educators and even practice managers are taking on greater responsibilities and so have more duties when it comes to caring for and communicating with patients. It is therefore essential that the practice management software is accessible to the whole dental team and can incorporate each individual’s schedule, whether they be a clinical or non-clinical professional.

 

Patient Recalls and Communication

Patients are more dental-savvy now than ever before and with greater understanding of the options available come higher expectations and the greater need for clear and effective communication from the professional team.  Many systems allow for patient records to be sent to them via email and with accompanying e-material, such as information leaflets to aide treatment explanations and encourage informed consent. Cutting-edge practice management software can also make the patient recall process run smoothly if fully utilised, with minimal need for user intervention. Once a patient’s communication preference has been selected, the recare cycle can be highly automated helping to improve on revisit frequency.  The patient record will display when the recare appointment has been booked or an alert will be sent when it is due.

Further considerations when choosing a practice management system for your practice might include the reputation of the provider, as well as the training and on-going technical support available for the team. The CS R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental, for example, offers outstanding customer service alongside all the benefits outlined above, plus the capability of delivering real-time data for highly accurate practice performance analysis. Find out more today.

 

For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter @CarestreamDentl and Facebook

 

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Summary of Products & Services Available from All Med Pro

Summary of Products & Services Available from All Med Pro

 

Did you know that AllMedPro can assist you with any of the following products and services?

  • Medical Indemnity Insurance (individuals and vicarious entity cover)
  • Practice Insurance (buildings, contents, public & employers liability)
  • Practice Overheads / Locum Cover
  • Online Dental CPD & Document Resource Library
  • Pressure Vessel Inspection Cover
  • Property Owners Insurance (buy-to-let, holiday home, unoccupied)
  • Home Insurance
  • Hands & Eyes Insurance
  • Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
  • Dental Laboratories (including products liability)
  • Aesthetics Medical Indemnity Insurance
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

We can also refer you to one of our specialist partner firms for:

  • Financial Advice
  • Legal Services
  • Accountancy Services
  • Practice Sales
  • Patient Payment Plans

 

Just pick up the phone and give us a call to discuss any other insurance requirements you may have on 01793 820100

or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

T. 01793 820100   E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  W: www.allmedpro.co.uk
 
All Med Pro is a trading style of All Medical Professionals Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial
Conduct Authority Number: 309853. All Medical Professionals Limited registered in England number 04468555.
Registered office: 59B Thornhill, South Marston, Swindon, SN3 4TA
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Top tips for finance - Martin Gilbert

Top tips for finance

As the demand for high end, elective dentistry increases, so too does the importance of providing suitable finance options to your patients. Unfortunately, doing so is not necessarily a simple process – so here are a few helpful tips to help take the stress out of consumer credit.

#1 – Secure FCA authorisation

As of April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over the provision and management of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading. Now, it is mandatory that any institution that wishes to offer a deferred payment scheme is authorised by the FCA – which stringently upholds the guidelines that have been set out in the Consumer Credit Act. These rules apply unequivocally to all businesses and individuals who wish to offer any form of consumer credit, even if the treatment is ongoing.

#2 – Don’t try to do it yourself

The process of applying directly to the FCA in order to become fully authorised to offer consumer credit can be a complicated and drawn-out task. Not only are there many regulatory matters to tend to, but there are also regular reports that need to be sent and ongoing compliance factors that must be constantly addressed. This would, of course, be on top of the other administrative duties that a practice owner must account for.

As such, it might be wiser to look for providers that have been granted full permission to act as a Principal Firm and are in the position to authorise and manage a practice as an Appointed Representative on their behalf. From a legal perspective, and as a general guideline, the chosen financial provider should be able to:

  • apply for and complete all FCA regulatory reports that must be made
  • issue regulations and procedures designed to prevent any non-compliance
  • carry the liability if anything goes wrong

#3 – Careful advertising

When advertising their new finance options to the public, practice owners must be particularly careful to comply with the FCA’s regulations in regards to financial promotions. Whether it’s in print or online, the FCA oversees all advertising with a great deal of scrutiny, to ensure that there are no misleading financial adverts on display, and that they comply with all of the rules.

To ensure this does not happen, it is worth working with a financial provider who fully understands the ins and outs of financial advertising – one who can ensure that all documentation and promotional materials are compliant before publication. Not only will this save time, but it will also help ensure full compliance.

#4 – Talk to the experts

Dental professionals are already busy enough without having to deal with the extra pressures and legal responsibilities inherent in patient finance. An easier option would be to give the matter to a team of experts who can manage the whole process on their behalf, securely and safely – so professionals can concentrate on providing nothing but the very highest quality dentistry to their patients.

As one of the UK’s leading providers of finance to dental practices, Chrysalis Finance is the ideal solution for you. Contact the team today to find out just how they could help arrange simple and secure patient finance.

 

For more information about Chrysalis Finance call us on 0333 32 32 230 or visit www.chrysalisfinance.com

 

 

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Online abuse

Online abuse

 

As you all disappear on your long errant holidays – take note.

Finally the GDC have issued a small puff of white smoke from their chimney in Wimpole Street.

After much personal hard work by our colleague Dr Vicky Holden, and an uncertain amount of work by our representative body at the other end of Wimpole Street, the Council of the GDC voted to remove all address details from their on line register.  60,000 mainly female DCPs will I suspect be mightily relieved.  20,000 odd female dentists will rest a little easier.

If you have not been on the end of unwanted attention, it can be many things. Embarrassing … alarming … irritating … flattering …  laughable …  but worst of all of course is when it becomes frightening … perhaps even sinister.

Many of us will have had nurse as employees who find themselves on the receiving end of unwanted attention from some admirer- in-waiting.  Some of us may have even had to step in on occasion

How the previous CEO of the GDC even thought there was any justification in the first place remains a mystery.  But then the workings of the previous CEO were a mystery of course.

Our patients are entitled to know we are registered. In fact 99% of them assume we are.

Perhaps we should put our GDC Number on all correspondence … estimates, invoices, letters etc. I know many do. It’s not a secret.

But it is right that patients with ulterior motives should not be able to pursue an alternative and unwanted agenda.

So hats off to our GDC.  Of course you might ask why the Council did not do this 2 years ago when it still scorchingly obvious to anyone with half a brain that the matter needed addressing, so to speak.

The Council

This episode suggests that the new senior executive management at the GDC are quite different. There is a sense that their agenda may well be one we could subscribe to.

But perhaps this whole ‘address’ saga says more about the Council. It was those 12 Members, 6 of whom are Registrants, who ducked the issue 2 years ago.

It rather confirms in my mind that we have a better Executive in place at the GDC but we still lack a strong Council who will do the right thing at the right time.

Ah yes ...  that brings me to ‘ole Billy boy.  The Old Guard still sitting in that position at the middle of the table I see. Still writing twaddle-blogs! 

Good job he has been able to keep his address secret all these last few years what with all the FtP debacle!!  Perhaps we can look forward to a new method addressing Dr Moyes in the near future:  The Former Chairman …  Then we might see some real changes.

Have a great holiday. May your sun shine on your upturned cheeks!

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Holidays

Holidays

Continue reading
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#RAforB2A for Bridge2Aid

#RAforB2A for Bridge2Aid

 

Riz Akhtar, Co- Founder of dental specialists RA Accountants, has begun training for the marathon of his life - a seven-day, 250km footrace across the Atacama Desert in an aim to raise charitable funds for Bridge2Aid.

Taking place from 2-8 October this year, the 4deserts Atacama Crossing Challenge is a 250km race which crosses Atacama Desert, around San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Riz will face 6-stages in seven days with almost four Marathons in four days, then 74 km and a final stage of 11 km.

As one of the few deserts on Earth that doesn’t receive any rain, Atacama is a plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the beautiful Andes Mountains. Whilst the desert has an awe-inspiring and unique landscape of salt lakes, volcanoes, lava flows and sand dunes, it is fifty-times dryer than Death Valley. He will have to endure unpredictable terrain, harsh climate and an altitude that averages at 2,500 meters (8,000 feet).

The one-week challenge is self-supported, which means he will have to carry his clothes, sleeping bag, mandatory equipment, medical/safety kit and seven days’ worth of food in his backpack whilst journeying across the desert.

Noting his decision on Bridge2Aid as the chosen charity Riz, he said,

“I have always admired the work that Bridge2Aid have done through the years and it is remarkable how they have made a huge impact on individuals especially through the act of educating and training.”

Bridge2Aid aims to free communities in the developing world from chronic pain by teaching vital new skills to rural health workers. Over 70% of the world has no access to any form of safe treatment for oral diseases and infections. People are abandoned to agony for months and years. They face life-threatening infections and pain that is so severe that they cannot work, go to school or feed their families. The charity’s aim is to provide a unique solution by providing intensive practical training to existing in emergency dental skills to treat and educate. 

Not a newbie to marathons, Riz previously completed the six day and six stage 250km 4Deserts Gobi challenge run across China’s eastern province of Xinjiang last year, in line with the launch of RA Accountants charity RA Foundation.

Stay updated with Riz’ progress and journey in October by searching #RAforB2A on Twitter and Facebook. For more information or to sponsor Riz Akhtar on his 4Deserts Atacama October challenge visit:

http://www.justgiving.com/RAforB2A

www.raaccountants.com

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It’s an Official First for Forward Thinking Team at UK Based Systems for Dentists

It’s an Official First for Forward Thinking Team at UK Based Systems for Dentists

 

 

Systems for Dentists, leading UK dental practice management software specialists are breaking new ground as the first dental practice management software company to gain accreditation in Scotland for use of their Wireless Signature Pad technology in Scotland as a replacement of the paper GP17pr form.

The enterprising company are delighted to offer the solution to their rapidly expanding client base.

The accreditation allows Systems for Dentists to release the product for live use to dental practices from today, the 28th of July 2016. That’s fantastic news for Dentists in Scotland who will now officially be able to use the technology to capture patient signatures electronically as acceptable evidence of a patient’s status for payment toward NHS treatment, willingness to have treatment and confirmation that they have received dental treatment under the NHS in Scotland.

Ryszard Jurowski Managing Director said today:

“We have been involved in this innovation from the very beginning, having assisted with the piloting of electronic signatures for this function. Many of our clients have been excited about finally being free of copious amount of paper, costly and time-consuming filing processes; which with our system, they can now replace with an efficient, robust and secure solution. I am delighted to be able to offer our clients this extra service, and look forward to hearing more success stories from our current and future clients.”

In addition to their Wireless Signature Pad, Systems for Dentists offer a fully featured and agile dental practice management system, which offers clients the benefits of reducing administration times, providing the perfect operational platform to assist accurate claiming of NHS Dental charges and increase dental practice productivity.

 

 

For further information contact:

Nathan Ross at Systems for Dentists

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Direct line; 0845 643 2828

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8684 Hits
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BDIA launches ‘Shaping the Future’ – The post-Brexit Dental Industry Manifesto

BDIA launches ‘Shaping the Future’ – The post-Brexit Dental Industry Manifesto

 

 

The British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) has produced a post-Brexit manifesto, ‘Shaping the Future,’ which sets out the industry’s views on how government should positively influence the future for oral health, dentistry and the dental industry.

BDIA Policy and Public Affairs Director, Edmund Proffitt, comments, “There is a window of opportunity for the dental industry to share its positive vision for the future with key politicians, civil servants and decision makers. If Government can build the right regulatory environment and provide targeted investment in oral health it can make a significant contribution to protecting the UK’s oral health for years to come”.

‘Shaping the Future’ concentrates on six key areas:

 

-          Creating a favourable business environment

-          Investment in the nation’s oral health

-          Protecting patients

-          Investment in the NHS

-          Building a better future

-          Championing innovation

 

‘Shaping the Future’ is being circulated to key opinion formers within Government, political parties and the Government departments, as well senior civil servants, the NHS and other key opinion formers.

The document can be viewed here

 

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What will happen to associates?

What will happen to associates?

Nils Bohr was a Danish hero who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. The national brewer, Carlsberg, built Bohr a house. The home was next door to the brewery and allegedly had a direct feed from it, he fathered six children thus providing an early inspiration for the Carlsberg “refreshing the parts” adverts.

He once said, “Prediction is very difficult especially when it’s about the future.” Difficult or not I’m going to look at the future for young dentists in (general) Dental Practice.

It would be wrong to stare into the crystal ball without a quick glance over my shoulder. A sage told me in 1988 that in the future in the UK, “There will be NHS clinics and Private Practices”. With hindsight I’m surprised it took so long to get to where we are now.

Post Brexit, one big hitter remaining in-post is the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. There is still no money. The UK doesn’t care what Europe thinks of it, I know, but sometimes you hear the truth. A medic on Irish radio this week said, “The Tories don't like the NHS and Jeremy Hunt is doing his best to dismantle the basic principles of it”. In dentistry many of those basic principles are long gone and the remaining ones are being eroded as we watch.

No more money for education either. University fees and associated living costs are on the rise. Without free movement across borders in the future, university incomes from overseas may fall and UK student fees must rise accordingly. Dentistry is one of the most expensive courses to run, why not make the fees reflect those costs? Dentistry may well become the domain of the privileged, whose parents can afford to subsidise their offspring or arrange the loans for them.

With the recent relaxation of University status perhaps “a large corporate” could create or take over one or more of the Dental Schools to provide cadetships. The armed services have done this for many years. Five undergraduate years in receipt of a bursary and the tuition fees paid. The opportunity for vacation work/internships getting experience of all sorts at flagship practices and the indoctrination / assimilation becomes complete. Post-qualification you commit to, say, 10 years of service or have to repay their investment.

It is possible with this model that corporate dentistry can provide the closest thing to a career structure in general practice, something that the NHS has failed to do and significantly prevented private practice from doing.

The status of NHS associates does not bear close examination. In England and Wales there are fixed targets. Countrywide, associates do not provide their own equipment, are not directly responsible for marketing, wages, materials and so on and by any stretch of the imagination cannot retain the privilege of being self employed for much longer.

A quick flick of the pen by someone senior at HMRC would convert the status of associates to salaried employees. This might be welcomed by many dentists, young and old, especially those who have responsibility for childcare or who have spouses or partners who are in reasonably rewarded jobs.

Time and attitudes have changed and full ownership or traditional partnerships aren’t for everyone. The baby boomers who qualified before compulsory VT/FD and are now the (predominantly) male/pale/stale retiring on the proceeds of the corporate cash which many once derided. They may well be the last of their species.

Many young dentists look at the price of practices, the bureaucracy and the day to day pressure of practice ownership and decide that is not for them. The NHS has evolved into “turn up, get your UDAs, keep your nose clean from the GDC & CQC and go home”. Sounds like a job to me - not a vocation. The millennials are, allegedly, not keen on being tied to one particular practice.

In 2015-16 the admission target, for English dental schools only, was 809, presuming a 10% drop out rate and excluding overseas students there will be another 700 new dentists joining the ranks of the profession year on year. Of these about two-thirds will be female. At present the profession’s mix is 50-50 but it’s a fact that women work less than men over the course of a career, men don’t have babies and predominantly childcare duties fall to mothers not fathers.

This trend started with medicine and has had a profound effect both in   general and hospital practice. Interestingly the sex-mix pendulum has swung back in some medical schools.

One reaction with medical GPs is the change in status in response to the difficulty in recruiting partners by expanding the number of salaried doctors.  The government sees this as easier to control and privatise. Those GPs in favour of becoming salaried has now reached nearly 30%, nowhere near a majority but significant numbers are beginning to think the unthinkable.

In my last piece for GDPUK I wrote, “Meanwhile many quiet, thoughtful young dentists are taking a long view and working at their skills.” They are realising that to escape the mire of the NHS demands a commitment to growing themselves and that the sacrifices don’t stop with a BDS. In fact the years of serious dedication are just starting.

So the future, NHS clinics run by a handful of large corporates with salaried dentists and therapists, and private practices where an M.Sc is the starting point for consideration.

Your choice.

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The Art of Dentistry

The Art of Dentistry

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Riding high for charity

Riding high for charity

BioHorizons is proud to announce that, Ken O’Brien, General Manager for the UK & Ireland, has raised over £3,200 by cycling from Malin Head ? Ireland’s most northerly point ? to Mizen Head in the south, in support of DKMS, an international charity dedicated to the fight against blood cancer.

Ken’s fiancée’s father sadly passed away from mantle cell non Hodgkin Lymphoma. His bravery spurred Ken on to raise awareness of blood cancer and to increase understanding of the need for stem cell donors On average, 72 people are diagnosed with blood cancer every day in the UK. What’s more, 2,000 people per year need a donor and only 50% of them will find a suitable match. If you can, please spread the message about stem cell donation among your colleagues, friends and families.

To make a donation, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Phelim-Shields. Ken, his fiancée Roisin Shields and DKMS would like to thank everyone for their kind support and donations. For further information, please visit www.dkms.org.uk or www.biohorizons.com

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Denplan encourages families to Brush-Up this summer

Denplan encourages families to Brush-Up this summer

Denplan encourages families to Brush-Up this summer

For a second year, Denplan is running ‘The Big Summer Brush-Up’ to encourage families to make the most of the summer holidays to visit the dentist and spend time practising brushing techniques with their children. The national PR campaign is running for two months throughout July and August and Denplan is encouraging member practices to take part. This year, the PR campaign also features the inspiring Katie Piper, who will act as the campaign’s celebrity Mum ambassador.

A survey of parents of children aged 1-11 from Denplan, has revealed that almost a third (30%) of parents think that it is acceptable for a child to have experienced tooth decay before they have reached their teenage years[1].

According to the survey many parents try a multitude of methods to help their children manage their oral health effectively. However, 30% of parents surveyed stated that they think it is acceptable for a child to develop tooth decay due to the difficulty in controlling how effectively they clean their teeth on a daily basis.

Difficulties regulating children’s sugar consumption was also cited as a reason why many parents now accept tooth decay. Over a quarter (26%) of parents surveyed admit this with a further 29% of parents surveyed believing that potentially painful oral health conditions, such as tooth decay, are pre-determined by a family history of oral health complaints and weak teeth.

Worryingly, more than 1 in 10 parents (14%) claim that they think that decay in children’s teeth is acceptable as all children will inevitably lose their milk teeth as they develop.

These statistics come as the government announced plans to introduce a sugar tax on the soft drinks industry, due to come into effect by 2018. Denplan’s research suggests that the tax could be warmly welcomed by parents with almost half (45%) of parents surveyed claiming that they believe that tooth decay can be prevented by limiting the amount of sugar in a child's diet. A further 40% of parents believe that tooth decay can be prevented by ensuring that children regularly see their dentist for a check-up. Despite this, when asked what actions they take to prevent their child developing decay just 1 in 5 (18%) of parents said that they take their child to see the dentist once a year as soon as their first tooth appears.

Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan comments: “As the poor state of children’s oral health continues to dominate the headlines, and dental caries continues to be one of the most common chronic (but also largely preventable) diseases in UK children, Denplan will continue to champion improvements in children’s oral health. 

“Whilst parents have the best of intentions with their children’s dental health, the research shows that it can be hard for parents to keep up good habits amongst a backdrop of hidden sugars in our food and drinks and children’s reluctance to follow a good oral health routine. Denplan’s Big Summer Brush-Up campaign, along with the accompanying materials Denplan has produced has been created to help practices support and guide families on their oral healthcare.  Providing the right advice and encouragement from an early age or even from when a child’s first tooth appears, could make a lifetime of difference when it comes to their oral health.”

Denplan’s ‘Little Book of Healthy Smiles’ has been produced, containing handy advice from dentists and tips on how to enthuse unwilling children to brush up on cleaning teeth, written for parents by parents. For further information and downloadable content such as a brushing chart and the Little Book of Healthy Smiles visit www.bigsummerbrushup.co.uk.

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Politics

Politics

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Lessons to be Learnt from Recent Cases

Lessons to be Learnt from Recent Cases

In this blog we look at two recent cases, one before the Fitness to Practice Committee of the GDC and one before the Health, Education and Social Care first tier Tribunal (‘HESC Tribunal’), and consider what lessons dental practitioners can learn from them.

Darfoor –Fitness to Practice Hearing  

Dr Darfoor, a dentist, was before the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) on 18th January 2016. The allegations against him concerned the treatment of three patients during the period 2011 to 2014. The charges against Dr Darfoor ran over three pages of the judgment and included allegations of failing to adequately explain and/or record explaining to the patients the treatment they were to receive and thus failing to obtain consent.

The most serious allegation against Dr Darfoor was an allegation that he had failed to obtain consent and was dishonest in his failure to do so. It is this allegation we are going to focus on in this article.  

Dr Darfoor was carrying out treatment on Patient C for composite restorations and bone grafting. Dr Darfoor informed Patient C that the bone would be “synthetic”. In fact the bone was xenograft, which as you all know is bovine derived. Dr Darfoor had made the same assertion to Patient B, however, what made this allegation against Patient C more serious was the dishonesty element. Patient C had informed Dr Darfoor on a couple of occasions that he was a vegetarian and would not want animal products to be used on him.

Dr Darfoor denied knowing Patient C was a vegetarian but the Fitness to Practice Committee found that he did know this but went ahead with the procedure using xenograft in any event. The allegation of dishonestly failing to obtain consent was therefore found to be proven.

On 22nd April 2016 the Fitness to Practice Committee was reconvened to consider if Dr Darfoor’s fitness to practice was impaired as a result of his dishonesty. Dr Darfoor had previously been before the GDC before in relation to allegations of failing to obtain consent and this factor was taken into account. The Fitness to Practice Committee determined that Dr Darfoor’s fitness to practice was impaired and he was suspended for 12 months.

Every dentist knows the importance of obtaining consent from a patient. In Issue 5 of our Dental Bulletin we set out the legal issues surrounding consent.  Essentially, in order for consent to be valid it must be given voluntarily and freely, by an informed person and by a person who has capacity to give consent. In the recent case of Montgomery the court put a greater burden on dentists when obtaining consent in that it held a medical professional will need to look at what a reasonable person in the patient’s position would consider was a material risk and this places a duty on the medical professional to advise on that material risk. Therefore if the dentist has knowledge of a patient’s wishes or beliefs he must take this into account when providing information as to the procedure that is being undertaken.

Dr Darfoor had also failed to provide Patient C with other information about his treatment. However, it was the knowledge of Patient C’s vegetarianism and his failure to inform the patient he was using animal material that made his actions dishonest.

This case highlights the importance of ensuring you have an open and frank discussion with patients about the treatment you are providing. Make sure you listen to any concerns or queries raised by the patient, as this could affect the information you provide to them. Dr Darfoor also failed to keep adequate notes. Therefore, if a patient does raise an issue, make sure this is in your notes along with any advice you have provided in response and the patient’s final decision. 

If you would like to read the judgment in full you can find it here.

Mr Corney and Mrs Webb v CQC

This is an interesting case, in which the CQC’s decision to cancel registration was challenged at the HESC Tribunal. It highlights that the CQC’s decision is not final and can be reviewed by an independent body.

However, we would not recommend following the path of Mr Corney and Mrs Webb when deciding if you should challenge the findings of an inspection report.

The couple purchased a care home in 1994 and described their philosophy of care as being based on the ‘European Style’, which they say meant living in the home with the residents and caring for them as if they were their relatives.

The home registered with the CQC in October 2010. Between January 2013 and April 2015 there were six inspections carried out. Each recorded a finding of ‘inadequate.’ In fact on the last visit by the CQC the couple and staff refused to speak to the inspector or show him any documentation; his visit lasted 17 minutes! If only all inspections were that quick. In August 2015 the CQC issued a notice of proposal to cancel registration.

In addition to the action taken by the CQC, in November 2013 Dorset County Council ceased to commission the care home due to safeguarding concerns they had with the home.

Mr Corney gave evidence on behalf of the couple. He was adamant that the findings of the CQC were wrong but produced no additional or expert evidence to support his case. He maintained throughout that the CQC and the local council were working together to shut his business down. The couple failed to make any changes to their practices or procedures despite having clear recommendations from the CQC.

The HESC Tribunal found that the couple were unwilling to change and to keep up to date with current standards and regulation. They went so far as to say ‘Mr Corney also has an unmoveable conviction that he is right.’ The cancellation of registration was therefore upheld. The full judgment can be found here.

We consider this is a rare case; most providers when issued with an inadequate report will do all they can to improve standards. Not wait for a further five inspections to take place. However, what it does highlight is that if you can challenge the CQC’s findings, with say additional or expert evidence, you can pursue the matter via the HESC Tribunal.

It also shows the importance of accepting where errors may have been made and looking to improve on standards or change procedures. Mr Corney clearly did not like change and we consider this factor and his failure to work with the CQC played a part in the removal of the couple’s registration.

We would comment that with the new regime for inspection that came into force last year for dentists, there is less of a focus on a ‘tick box’ exercise.  Inspectors have five key questions to consider and should be taking into account all relevant factors when assessing if the regulations have been met. 

 

 

Image credit -Tori Rector under CC licence

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Homeopathy

Homeopathy

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The Year Implant Course – The Faculty

The Year Implant Course – The Faculty

 

The Campbell Academy Directors – Colin Campbell and Andrew Legg

 

The first two members of the faculty to introduce are myself Colin Campbell and Andrew Legg.

Andrew has worked with me at the practice for the past four and a half years and has been an inspiration and an exceptional clinician providing superb treatment for our patients. He has embarked on a teaching career previously with Tipton Training and other independent providers and is now my Co-Director at The Campbell Academy. He has placed and restored thousands of dental implants from the most straightforward cases to the most complex and has a gentle skill of teaching which I have seen rarely in anyone else.

For my own part, my practice is limited to surgical implant dentistry. I am a Specialist in Oral Surgery with considerable experience within the ITI and the Leadership of the ITI within the UK. I have placed in the region of 4,000 dental implants and have restored approximately 1,000. I have been teaching in implant dentistry since 2000.

I have been the architect and designer of many implant courses previously for other organisations and now The Campbell Academy takes a considerable amount of my time in providing implant and dental education the way I think it should be done.

Michael Bornstein

I have blogged about Michael Bornstein on many occasions and Michael already teaches on The Campbell Academy CBCT course where he has generally been fantastically accepted as he was when he provided an ITI Study Club and Master Class for us in 2014.

It is a delight that Michael has agreed to come back to discuss imaging in implant dentistry and medical conditions and he will provide an exceptional level of teaching for people entering into implant dentistry, the like of which they would only usually get at Congresses in implant dentistry.

Colin Burns

Colin Burns and I have known each other for a considerable period of time having grown up in the same town in Scotland and we went to the same school. We also went to the same dental school although Colin was a few years ahead of me and then our paths crossed again on a course on implant dentistry some years ago.

Colin and I sat together on the Leadership Team of the ITI UK & Ireland Section where Colin is still the Study Club Co-Ordinator and he has an MSc in Implant Dentistry from the University of Warwick specialising in surface technology.

Colin is a fantastic clinician and a compassionate provider whose teaching skills are second to none. He has the ability to pass on concepts and ideas in a non-threatening, caring way and is a huge asset to The Campbell Academy. It is a huge privilege for us to work with him over the coming years.

Neil Poyser

Neil Poyser is one of our clinicians at The Campbell Clinic. Neil is a Consultant Restorative Dentist who will be providing the vast majority of the restorative component of The Year Implant Course. He has been placing and restoring implants for well over a decade from straightforward cases to huge complex cases in his head and neck service at Queens Medical Centre.

Chris Barrow

We will not overlook the need to be able to source and secure patients within your practice environment and to this end we have brought in one of the best known names in marketing in dentistry, Chris Barrow.

Chris has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 22 years. His main focus now is on 7connections, a privately-owned company that provides coaching and mentorship in independent dentistry and also provides Lifecycle Marketing training and support services to clients.

Beatriz Sanchez

Beatriz is one of our dentists at the practice who is soon to finish her MSc in implant dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire. We feel it adds a great balance and roundness to the course to have younger speakers and younger members of the faculty.

 

For more information please contact:

0115 9823 919

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.campbellacademy.co.uk

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The Campbell Academy Year Implant Course 2017 - Features and Benefits

The Campbell Academy Year Implant Course 2017 - Features and Benefits

 

In May we launched the 2017 Year Implant Course. I guess it’s interesting that we get the opportunity to talk about ‘features and benefits’ which is real sales talk in an Alec Baldwin style. I guess though, if you want a list of features and benefits they are here and if you want to talk to us then our details are below.

What the course is:

1. A high quality introduction to straightforward implant dentistry provided by people with a passion for education.

2. An interactive, fluid, movable programme which responds to the needs of individuals to let them reach their greatest potential after one year.

3. A course which encourages online collaboration and discussion between delegates in between course modules to learn as much as possible.

4. A course which is heaped full of hands on and practical elements to get you better at basic surgical skills and into implant placement as soon as possible.

5. A course which is inextricably linked to mentoring and has a long term view of the five years it takes to become a fifty implants per year practitioner.

6. A course which is linked into a programme of more advanced courses afterwards, a mentoring scheme and contact with a group of people who want you to be better at implant dentistry and want you to provide ethical, honest, high quality implant dentistry for your patients.

7. The course is 12 days of lectures, discussion, practicals, thought provoking interaction, live hands on surgery on patients prepared by you and us and demonstrations.

 

What the course isn’t:

1. It’s not quick.

2. It’s not cheap.

3. It doesn’t tell you that after one year you will be able to place as many implants as you want on as many people as you want safely without any difficulties.

4. It’s not stack ‘em high and price ‘em low – it’s restricted to twelve people.

5. It’s not one guy talking at you all the time; it’s a host of individual high quality lecturers with different perspectives.

6. It’s not multi system, it’s based around the Straumann Dental Implant System. We strongly believe that if we teach you more than one system it may confuse you and you may have difficulty picking things up.

7. It’s not in London.

 

 

 

For more information please contact:

0115 9823 919

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.