The Monday Morning Quote #134

“The more a man is, the less he wants.”

Maxwell Perkins

If you’re heading to BDTA Dental Showcase #2 Bridge2Aid






Are you planning to attend the BDTA Showcase this year?
We’re throwing a party on Friday 21st October 2011 at the NEC Birmingham, the same location as the BDTA Showcase!

The evening will include a Vegas Style Casino, a Live band, DJ, buffet dinner and drinks.
Tickets are £25 and all proceeds support our work in East Africa. Tickets are selling quickly, so for more details, check this page or contact Brian on 0124 378 0102.
Hope to see you there!

If you’re heading to BDTA Dental Showcase #1 Dentaid

‘Instrument Amnesty’ returns to Showcase

Do you have any hand instruments you no longer use?
In order to address the need for dental instruments in developing countries, the BDTA is pleased to announce that the instrument amnesty will be returning to Showcase 2011. The BDTA is linking up with Dentaid, the dental charity striving to improve the oral health of disadvantaged communities around the world, to encourage the dental team to donate their unwanted hand instruments at this year’s exhibition.

Shortage of dentists and equipment in developing countries.
There is a severe shortage of dentists in developing countries and the ones that are working are drastically under-resourced. The level of care they are qualified to offer is significantly higher than their equipment allows; no light, no drill, no suction, difficult working conditions and very importantly, only a limited range of instruments.
Recipient dentists are always delighted with the equipment provided but some have been known to literally weep with joy when they have opened the box of instruments provided with the surgery, highlighting just how important these hand tools really are for day-to-day dental care.

The need for instruments
Andy Jong, Dentaid’s CEO comments, “Since developing the portable dental chair and portable instrument kit, Dentaid has experienced a big surge in orders from charitable projects and hospitals with community oral health programmes. This year’s instrument amnesty is a great way for the dental team to help us meet the demand and reach many more remote places with improved oral health care.”

It is likely that there is a huge selection of instruments sitting in the bottom of cupboards in dental practices across the country not being used. The highly successful instrument amnesty last took place at Showcase in 2005 where over 10,000 instruments were collected. It returns to this year’s event as a way to once again replenish the diminishing stocks and enable Dentaid to continue its important work.

Bring your instruments with you to BDTA Dental Showcase 2011
Please ensure your instruments have been properly sterilised and then donate, along with details of your practice, to the Dentaid stand during the exhibition.
BDTA Dental Showcase 2011 takes place between 20-22 October 2011 at the NEC, Birmingham. To secure your free of charge entry to the show, reserve your ticket here.

For further information on Dentaid, visit

Get (and stay) real.

Living standards will continue to fall, experts warn. (From P, G & T)

I am not one to dwell on negatives and go out of my way to emphasise the positives in life, however we live in a real world and to presume that everything will be “roses round the door” would be naive to say the least. So if you’re in dental or any other professional practice do your plans take this sort of report into account or are you ploughing on regardless and hoping that things will just get better on their own?

The standard of living in the UK will continue to fall over the next three years, a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests.

The report, which looks into the effects of the ‘great recession’, found that UK households were relatively insulated from the immediate effects of the recession as household incomes continued to grow slightly between 2007-2008 and 2009-2010.

However, as the UK Government attempts to reduce the deficit, household incomes in the UK look set to be squeezed ‘for a considerable length of time’. Previous IFS research has shown that the decline in average living standards looks set to continue until at least 2013-14.

In the 2010/11 financial year, earnings, state benefits and tax credits all fell in real terms in the UK, which according to the IFS, is likely to have led to a median drop in net household income of 3.5 per cent – the largest annual drop since 1981.

Robert Joyce, a Research Economist at IFS and a contributor to the report, said “The current economic downturn began more than 3 years ago, and may seem like old news. But, as in other developed countries, the most severe consequences of the recession on UK living standards have only just begun to be felt, and will continue to be felt for years to come.”

The Monday Morning Quote #133

 “The honest man could and did play it as honestly in Diplomacy as the honest man in business or on the executive of a Trade Union.

The dishonest man will be no more honest in a new diplomacy than in the old.”

Edward Grey


Alan Stevens – The Media Coach – writes well and regularly about all aspects of media. This is from today’s ezine and, as usual, is full of sense.


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has been around for a while, with many companies offering to ensure that you are on page one of Google for your chosen keywords. There were (and still are), many good SEO practitioners around. Alas, there were also many poor ones, who would promise do deliver high Google rankings, but provided them all too fleetingly, or for esoteric search terms that no-one ever used (“Life Coach services in Nether Wallop…”). However, I believe that the whole issue of SEO is diminishing in importance.

These days, customers seem to be a little more discerning. They don’t simply buy from the companies ranked highest in Google (if they ever did). Instead, they are using word-of-mouth, social networking and other sources to receive recommendations, and then checking companies out online.

So you need to be easy to find, but not necessarily by keywords. If you trade as a company, then a search on your company name needs to be on page one of Google. If you use your name as your brand, you need to be on page one for a name search. If you use both a company and personal name in business, guess what?

If you have an unique name or company name, there’s little need for SEO. If your name or company are common, or easily confused, then SEO may well be appropriate. However, I’ve always found that being busy online, especially on social media, works just as well as employing SEO experts. The choice is yours.

“This information was written by Alan Stevens, and originally appeared in “The MediaCoach”, his free weekly ezine, available at”

The NHS associate pension problem – join Alan Suggett’s campaign.

Alan Suggett has started a campaign about a subject that I have mentioned before, associates’ pensions. This piece from Dentinal Tubules speaks for itself.

Imagine if you were told that an elderly person left a parcel containing several thousand pounds on the bus when he or she got off.
The parcel wasn’t ever returned.
How much worse would you feel if the elderly person was a retired dentist?
I imagine you’d be pretty upset!
Turn the clock forward – what if the elderly person is you?
How do you feel now?
Unfortunately, according to an analysis of annual return information, there are up to 3,000 NHS associates who have almost certainly suffered from the NHS pension equivalent of the loss outlined above.
Perhaps not as emotive of losing a parcel of cash – but the financial loss is the same.  Particularly when you realise that every £100pa of pension lost equates to between £2,000 and £3,000 of cash equivalent.
Why has this happened?
It’s all down to the following factors:
1.       Principals filling in Annual Reconciliation Return forms incorrectly– by mistake or, unfortunately, maybe even deliberately!
2.       Associates not checking annual form SD86C– either because they don’t know how to, or because they don’t appreciate how important it is to do so.
3.       Accountants who aren’t experienced in acting for dentists who don’t know of the potential problem, so don’t check their client’s annual pension entitlement.
The powers that be (NHS Pensions) are well aware of the problem, as are the BDA, and the recording process is being changed (hopefully by 2012).  However, this still leaves up to 3000 associates who obviously have a problem, and perhaps many more, where their pension calculation is wrong, but not obviously so.
So, join the campaign to alert all NHS associates to the problem – check your SD86C’s (all of the way back to 2007 to cover every year of the ”new” NHS contract ), and if you don’t know how, ask someone who does (my contact details are below!)
Let’s make this a viral campaign, tell all of your associate friends.
I look after approximately 70 associates’ tax affairs, and reckon that more than 15% have been affected by a variation of the problem – as the lottery man used to say IT COULD BE YOU!

About the Author – Alan Suggett
Alan is a Chartered Accountant and partner in UNW LLP chartered accountants, where he is head of the Dental Business Unit.  Alan writes regularly for the dental press, and contributed to the Dental Practice Health Check which was published in late 2007. He is also a member of the National association of Specialist Dental Accountants & Lawyers (NASDAL) and a member of the technical committee. Alan is the editor of the quarterly NASDAL goodwill survey which analyses all member client practice sales, purchases, and valuations.
He can be contacted on 0191 243 6009,

Select Committee critical of CQC.

My personal take on this is that yet again the professionals involved with the in-depth knowledge were ignored by the politicians who established and imposed the CQC on the dental profession. Now the same politicians turn around and try to blame the CQC for doing what they had been instructed. I am in no way trying excuse the CQC, whose representatives I first encountered at the BDA conference in Liverpool in 2010. It was apparent from the outset that they had little or no knowledge of dentistry or the way that dental practices worked. Instead of trying to learn and (heaven forbid) win over the hearts and minds of the dental profession they bludgeoned and blundered their way to the April 1st deadline using the threat of suspension as their only incentive. The politicians (a minority) who even bothered to take note of the protests of dental practice owners basically responded with “its enshrined in law, nothing can be changed, it’s all for the greater good”.

As with the 2006 contract, the continuing farce that are the HTM 01-05 cross infection guidelines, Information Governance and last but least the GDC UK dentistry (and above all patient care) is left worse off after interference. Perhaps civil disobedience, as advocated by Ghandi,  would have been the correct way to deal with politicians. Unfortunately with a profession that behaves like the proverbial herd of cats and seems sometimes to be frightened by its own shadow, success that way would have been very unlikely too.

CQC failings laid bare by report says BDA

A damning review of the work of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) underlines the way the organisation has failed dentists across England, the British Dental Association (BDA) has said.

The report, published today by the House of Commons Health Select Committee, criticises the distortion of CQC’s priorities by a statutory deadline to register dentists and brands as “astonishing” that it could ever have been considered sensible for small dental practices to be subjected to the same processes as large hospitals. Mirroring concerns expressed by the BDA in its evidence to the review, the report argues CQC must accept responsibility for its poor handling of registration. It also says that the balance between compliance and registration activity will remain an issue for CQC and challenges the agency to demonstrate it is prioritising the former in order to maintain the confidence in it.

Dr John Milne, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said:

“This report is a damning indictment of the debacle that has been the registration of dentists by the Care Quality Commission. It reflects the BDA’s own criticisms, pointing to flaws in the timing and methodology of dental registration, and begs serious questions about a farcical process that dentists have been forced to endure.

“The BDA has campaigned throughout this process for the myriad flaws inherent in the system to be addressed and for Government to apologise to dentists for the stress and difficulties that have been suffered. It’s time for that long-overdue apology to be made.

“The magnitude of the problems the report highlights and the effect they have had on dentists should not be underestimated. Dentists have told us that the experience of CQC registration has led many of them to seriously consider their futures in dentistry. That is a sad reflection on an ill-conceived and woefully-flawed process.”

The House of Commons Health Select Committee Report is available here.


Notes to editors

Details of the BDA’s evidence to the review are available at:

The BDA has consistently campaigned for CQC registration to be re-thought and led a campaign calling for changes. Details are available at:

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association for dentists in the UK. It represents 23,000 dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces. It also includes dental students.

For further information, please contact the BDA’s media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter:!/TheBDA.

Think Pink! really?

Dentist surgeries should think pink if they want to relax patients, according to Lima Europe

According to interior designers, Lima Europe, businesses should think about how their customers want to feel when refurbishing their premises. A mid to light pink, which can help to relax the muscles, would be an ideal colour for a dentists

Feelings experienced when entering a new environment can be in part attributed to colour, therefore, according to commercial interior designers, Lima Europe, businesses should think about how their customers want to feel when refurbishing their premises. For example, patients visiting the dentist are often nervous so a mid to light pink, which can help to relax the muscles, would be an ideal colour to choose.

Colour is light that travels in waves from the sun and the energy from light is absorbed through the eyes; it stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands, which in turn control some of the body’s systems, including hormonal changes. Research suggests that pink is a calming colour and so is regularly used in rooms where a tranquilising effect is desired, for example, in hospitals, rehabilitation centres and even prisons.

Dentist practices, however, should avoid cerise and hot pinks as these could add to an increased heart rate acceleration, respiration and brain wave activity. Bright colours such as these tones of pink and the pure red are extremely stimulating and powerful; red grabs our attention and appears nearer than it actually is due to it being the longest wavelength.

When working closely with their clients, London interior designers, Zoltán Madosfalvi and Alíz Ördög from Lima Europe, carefully discuss colour palettes and the feeling required for the particular space. Zoltán explains: “Some of Lima’s business clients, such as dentist, doctors’ and cosmetic surgeries, come to me wanting their reception area to reflect their brand identity whilst also creating a feeling of cleanliness. However, it is extremely important to produce the correct atmosphere for the customer or client, which includes considering the psychology of colour; a consumer is not likely to return on the basis of liking a brand’s colour palette but may do so if they felt relaxed and safe in the environment. When a soothing affect is needed, a pink in a muted tone can be very successful as can a restful green.”


I can imagine a lot of dentists who still adopt the patrician “doctor knows best” approach having Basil’s take on this, but I feel that we need to listen to all opinions on how our work places can be optimised.

The Monday Morning Quote – #132

To mark the start of the Rugby World Cup here are a few of my favourite rugby quotes.

  1. Pre-game pep talk before facing England – “Look what these bastards have done to Wales. They’ve taken our coal, our water, our steel. They buy our houses and they only live in them for a fortnight every 12 months. What have they given us? Absolutely nothing. We’ve been exploited, raped, controlled and punished by the English – and that’s who you are playing this afternoon.” Phil Bennett (1977)
  2. The relationship between the Welsh and the English is based on trust and understanding. They don’t trust us and we don’t understand them. Dudley Wood (1986)
  3. “Ray Gravell Eats Soft Centres.” Banner at Cardiff Arms Park (1970s)
  4. You’ve got to get your first tackle in early, even if it’s late. Ray Gravell
  5. We’ve lost seven of our last eight matches. Only team that we’ve beaten was Western Samoa. Good job we didn’t play the whole of Samoa. Gareth Davies (1989)
  6. The Holy Writ of Gloucester Rugby Club demands: first, that the forwards shall win the ball; second, that the forwards shall keep the ball; and third, the backs shall buy the beer.
    Doug Ibbotson
  7. Rugby is a wonderful show: dance, opera and, suddenly, the blood of a killing. Richard Burton
  8. “Get your retaliaton in first” Willie John McBride / Carwyn James
  9. History has shown that what’s happened previously – good or bad – means nothing come kick off.” Richie McCaw
  10. “Rugby is a tough sport, but what motivates players to go into the battle with no fear? The answer is passion. Passion means not dying wondering how good you and the team could be.Nick Farr-Jones

& Finally “Oh, that fellow Edwards!” Cliff Morgan

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