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,

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