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All that's new in the world of dentistry
NOV
24

Protect yourself and your staff - Goodman Grant Lawyers for dentists

Protect yourself and your staff - Goodman Grant Lawyers

On average, there are approximately 6,000 employment tribunals being presented each month in this country. In dentistry, we see a large volume of cases in which practice principals have failed to issue their staff with proper employment contracts. Despite the fact that the provision of such contracts has been a statutory requirement since 1978, there are still many practices that fail to do so – why this should be the case is hard to determine, but it is indicative of an attitude that fails to recognise the importance of the staff. 

 

Failing to provide employment contracts to any member of your team is not only a breach of statutory requirement, it can also leave practice owners vulnerable should there be dispute with a member of staff. For example, without an employment contract, there is no clear procedure for staff holidays, sick pay, overtime of discipline.

 

It is also quite likely that if a tribunal comes across a case where an employer has not provided a contract, they are likely to sympathise with the employee’s position. Thus, the lack of a contract can actually jeopardise the chances of successfully defending against such proceedings.

 

But by including a clause in an employment contract, that defines the procedures that will be followed in all aspects of work within your practice, you will be suitably protected.

 

To reinforce this, it is also prudent to supply a comprehensive staff handbook. This must be bespoke to your dental practice and will expand upon the terms detailed in the employment contract, focussing on specific circumstances that may be unique to you and your team. Of course, it must be regularly updated to reflect new legislation and practice changes, and it is absolutely vital to include a thorough introduction to the handbook in any staff inductions.

 

Ultimately there are two reasons to invest yourself in a comprehensive handbook like this. Firstly, you will be able to significantly reduce the chances of becoming embroiled in a dispute and being taken to a tribunal. The second is that your business will come across as professional, serious, fair and competent.

 

Of course, these precautions are not guaranteed to stop all staff misconduct, but they do provide an efficient safety-net to fall back on if matters turn nasty. What’s more, it will promote staff happiness, because they will feel protected and valued – and, of course, happy staff should equal happy patients.

 

John Grant of Goodman Grant Lawyers for Dentists - a NASDAL member

For more information call John Grant on 0113 834 3705 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.goodmangrant.co.uk

A NASDAL and ASPD MEMBER

 

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2308 Hits
NOV
04

Working hours today - how does it effect the appointment system?

Working hours today - how does it effect the appointment system

In the UK, there a number of people who are contracted to do unsociable hours with estimations from the Labour Force Survey in 2005 showing 3.6 million in shift work employment.1 Indeed, with many working in healthcare, manufacturing, transport, communications and hospitality professions, nine to five is no longer considered to be the norm.

 

With reports showing a decline in nightshifts and the three-day working pattern, it appears that emergence of ‘other types of shift work’ is on the rise highlighting the constant change that workers face.2

 

Finding the time

Because of the erratic and unpredictable patterns that shift work brings, it can therefore be difficult for people to arrange and attend much needed or emergency appointments.

 

In comparison to fixed contracts, which specify pre-arranged working days, shift work rotas are subject to change and can often not be distributed to staff until the last minute. As you would expect, booking an appointment in advance can become a seemingly impossible task.

 

What’s more, because employers are not required by law to allow workers to attend medical and dental appointments in work time,3 booking an appointment without a definite rota is out of the question, unless annual leave is approved for that specific time.

 

The toll on oral health

Not only does working unsociable hours and shift work have an effect on the convenience of booking an appointment, it could also create or contribute to medical and oral health problems.

 

Although there is insufficient research specifically on the topic of oral health in patients who work these hours, there is some evidence to suggest that it can be damaging to a person’s general health and wellbeing. As well as affecting sleep, weight and increasing the chance of diabetes, studies have shown a link between shift work and increased cardiovascular morbidity.4

 

The solution

Making appointments more accessible and offering online booking will encourage the general and oral health of shift workers. The current system has many flaws including busy phone lines, lack of out-of-hours options and limited choice of appointment times.

 

In comparison, online booking is flexible and transparent, offering 24/7 access to available appointments. A quick, easy-to-use and stress free alternative, online platforms such as Zesty offer a solution to those who work unsociable hours.

 

If you want to streamline your practice, optimise your surgery time and allow patients who do shift work to access services, contact Zesty today.

 

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. visit www.zesty.co.uk or call 02037717799 for more details today

 

 

1 Unite guide to shift work and night work – a health and safety issue for unite members. Revised October 2013. Accessed online 24th July 2015.

http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/ShiftandNightWork%2011-4950.pdf

2 Changes in shift work patterns over the last ten years (1999 – 2009). Prepared by Office for National Statistics for the Health and Safety Executive 2011. Accessed online 6th August 2015 http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr887.pdf

3 Advice Guide. Citizens advice bureau. Accessed online 24th July 2015 https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Documents/Advice%20factsheets/Employment/e-time-off-work.pdf

4 Europe Published Central. Shift work and health – a critical review of the literature on working hours. J.M Harrington. Accessed online 24th July 2015 http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/784775

 

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2560 Hits
JUL
19

Facing Fundamental Fears - Tim Bradstock-Smith

Facing Fundamental Fears

Dental professionals are familiar with the sights; sounds and smells of the practice but these can be the catalyst for fear in some patients. Hearing the sound of the drill can evoke the perception of pain, the smell of cleaning solutions may bring back negative thoughts and the clinical environment, instruments or the sight of the chair can terrify some people.


National surveys reveal that around 36% of patients experience moderate dental anxiety and 12% of adults were classified as having extreme dental anxiety.[1] There is not always a clear-cut reason for dental phobia but many patients explain that they have been scarred by a previous traumatic experience.[2] Others are afraid of the unknown and many have simply inherited dental fear by association from their peers or parents.

The most common fear among patients is pain.[3] A phobia of needles is also reported by thousands of men and woman and the thought of having an oral injection understandably exacerbates their anxiety. A significant number of patients become anxious when they feel out of control, confined or helpless. Some people are terrified of not being able to breathe or swallow, have a fear of gagging or vomiting and others cannot cope with hands or instruments in their mouth or near their face.

Any practitioner will be aware that anxious patients need understanding and empathy, a level of support that makes them feel as comfortable and relaxed without prying into their inhibitions. It is important talk reassuringly to the patient whilst respecting their wishes. It’s critical to take plenty of time to explain every detail, maintain eye contact and encourage them to take deep breaths to calm down.

Even when fearful patients attend for a check up, they have made a terrific effort to be there. They may not be able to respond to your questions or feel like making small talk but you can put them at ease by being kind, gentle, patient and most importantly, non-judgemental. If the patient has severe dental or oral health problems due to neglect it may be ideal to break the diagnosis down and explain it in stages to avoid increased anxiety.

If the diagnosis is complex, you might need to refer the patient to a specialist practice, but you will need to be confident that they have the ability and empathy to treat anxious patients. London Smile Clinic is a referral practice with a team of specialist dental practitioners that are experienced in treating nervous patients. It is a centre of excellence with exceptionally high standards of dentistry and offer orthodontic, implantology and periodontal treatments as well as cosmetic dentistry. The dental team strive to make patients as comfortable and relaxed as possible and take the time to be gentle and understanding.

On facing their fears, patient can often feel surprised at how well they have been able to cope. Practitioners can boost their confidence by praising them and assuring them that they will look forward to their next visit, which will hopefully be less worrying.

 

For more information, please contact 020 7255 2559 or
visit www.londonsmile.co.uk/refer

 


[1] Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/adultdentalhealthsurvey_2009_firstrelease.
pdf [Accessed 25th February 2015]

[2] G. HumphrisK. King. The prevalence of dental anxiety across previous distressing experiences. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.09.007

[3] Stan Lindsay & Chris Jackson. Fear of routine dental treatment in adults: Its nature and management DOI:10.1080/08870449308403174

 

  3138 Hits
3138 Hits
JUN
10

Grow your Practice Cost and Hassle-Free - Valerie Bostrom

Valerie Bostrom from Munroe Sutton

Many modern companies in all industries offer an array of employee benefits. There are various different schemes available, from those that provide tax incentives for employees cycling to work, to others supporting child care costs. The nature of the benefits provided will depend on each team and their individual needs.

Aside from the obvious compensations to employees, these benefit schemes also offer advantages to the employer and business. Happier staff tends to increase their engagement and maximise productivity, ultimately having a positive effect on profitability.

Healthcare benefits will also help improve the health and wellbeing of staff for reduced sickness absences. These are probably one of the most cherished schemes offered, as they entitle employees to private health and dental care, with a considerable proportion of the cost covered.

But how is this relevant to you as a dental care provider?

Most dental practices are run as a business, and an increase in new patients, higher frequency footfall and busier chair occupancy is the ultimate goal from a ‘bottom-line’ perspective. By being part of these healthcare plans and working with those who offer them, patients who use the cover will come to you for their treatment. There are businesses out there that manage healthcare plans in this way, liaising with insurance companies and dental providers to provide the highest quality of dental care for those who take out cover.

Munroe Sutton has more than 3 decades of experience in designing, organising and managing dental plans that improve the affordability and accessibility of quality dental treatment. Their dental plan was created by dentists, for dentists, so is committed to providing fair compensation and supporting the patient relationship. By working with leading financial, insurance and healthcare companies, as well as the smaller local unions and trade associations, Monroe Sutton is able to promote your practice to a huge number of new patients, all at no cost to you.

Further still, Monroe Sutton believes in prompt payment for the services provided to healthcare plan patients, ensuring a reliable cash flow.

Attracting new patients is an integral aspect of your business’ success, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to you. By getting involved with the healthcare and dental plans offered to businesses and individuals, you can not only help more people enhance their oral and general health, but also build your patient base and grow your business.

 

For more information please call 0808 234 3558

or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk

  3133 Hits
3133 Hits
SEP
28
0

Measuring Success

Measuring Treatment Success

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4633 Hits
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Rapport

Creating a rapport with patients

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4452 Hits
AUG
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Risk Assessment - Part One

Risk Assessment Part One

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4199 Hits
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Obtaining Patient Consent

Obtaining Patient Consent

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Your Guide to Dental Whistle-Blowing

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Dental team CPD

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5919 Hits
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HTM 01-05 Pictorial Guide

 

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13548 Hits
APR
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CQC Flowchart

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32139 Hits

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