Get that wasp off my sandwich

I was up and about in plenty of time to be one of the first to cast their vote in the referendum this morning.

It is obviously a serious subject and not one that people tend to discuss too much in public. I am not going to share an opinion in this place except to encourage you to use your vote if you have one.

We’re enjoying a beautiful day in West Cork and the photograph above was taken an hour or so ago from  just outside my workplace “The Woodshed”.

I couldn’t avoid singing this.

 

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The Monday Morning Quote #483

“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable and remove yourself from the unacceptable,”

Denis Waitley

British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show Day 2 – plus one absentee

A day that seemed less rammed than yesterday but was still busy enough. The competing attractions of sunshine, the FA cup final and a certain high profile wedding didn’t significantly deter the delegates. Indeed some were tuned in to the Windsor nuptials – here are the BACD royalists.

(Some of) the lawyers, sales agents and accountants reported they had experienced a busy day so the sales / purchases market remains buoyant.

Today the freebie grabbers were out in force, many queueing for 40 minutes or more for a “free” toothbrush. Hey ho I am not complaining or criticising. They were there, possibly brought by their practice principal or manager and that’s important. There were thousands of practices unrepresented, whose owners and teams exist in their silos with little or no communication and experience of the greater world of dentistry.

A mention for the busiest looking stand, TePe, where the team were going flat out from start to finish. Their team, many of whom have other “day jobs” as dental nurses or dental hygienists made my day of networking seem very laid back indeed. I know others were probably equally busy but TePe were very visible, situated as they were hard by the entrance.

The discussion about the new NHS contracts which was facilitated by Nigel Jones of Practice Plan and featured Eddie Crouch, Tony Kilcoyne and Henrik Overgaard Nielsen was interesting, if only for the clear disregard that the UK government shows for the dental health of its constituency. This of course is reflected in the way it behaves towards dentistry. The story is one of no commitment to the NHS and the can being kicked down the road and well into the long grass. At one point will the profession refuse to take lower and lower rewards for providing n increasingly challenging and over regulated service?

Certainly the BDA hierarchy were happy with the event and I’m pleased about that, they took quite a risk if only of reputation by getting involved.

One notable absentee from the stands at the NEC was {my}Dentist. At one time they would have had a significant presence where it seemed they wanted to buy any and every practice, they were recruiting from home and abroad and embarking on a march to dominate UK dentistry. Now with tales of contracts  returned unfulfilled, practices being sold and wholesale challenges with attracting and keeping dentists their star appears to be (slightly) on the wane. No matter how many hubs and spokes you have it’s not always easy to keep the wheels on the wagon.

Rodericks, BUPA & Collosseum Dental (who thought that one up?) all had a presence.

Unless that career involves practice ownership I presume…

British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show Day 1

Firstly let me get this comment out of the way, it is not and probably will never be a substitute for the BDA conference. Done.

The numbers were high. When I arrived from the airport at 9.05 the queue to print tickets looked daunting but the stewards kept it organised and the ticket machines were straightforward to use so the wait was minimal.

Every year brings a glut of new businesses to shows and, unsurprisingly, this year’s were those selling GDPR compliance packages. On May 25th the sky will not fall in in the same way that the “Millennium bug” did not bring civilisation crashing down. Last GDPR mention, I promise.

At first glance the lecture theatres were well placed and isolated from the main exhibition hall. There was little or no sound leakage to distract from the content. Less ideal were the theatres situated within the hall, it was clear that anyone doing three or four presentations over the two days would be left with a sore larynx by Saturday afternoon.

One of the justified complaints from the people who pay to make these events happen, the dental industry, is that delegates who come to attend the academic elements don’t visit their stands – with this set up it would be impossible to ignore the goods and services on display.

It was good to see the numbers of Foundation Dentists and Students in attendance something that Closer Still hadn’t welcomed in the past apparently because they weren’t responsible for making or influencing purchases.

No hordes of freebie hunters either.

A very good first day.

Specialist subjects?

I tried, I really did, I blocked my ears, turned my phone and other distractions off, reduced the sceptic factor setting as low as it would go and concentrated. The I came to some of the language used and the “mummy knows best” tone. 

  • HEE (NHS Leadership Academy) to develop and pilot a self-help, team building pack, specifically designed to help dental teams assess their current level of efficient and effective working practices and support the design of development plans for further strengthening team performance.
  • HEE (NHS Leadership Academy) to develop system leadership from within primary care, identifying and supporting high-calibre individuals to maximise their potential.
  • The causes of oral diseases are well understood, they are almost entirely preventable and many people now experience good oral health.
  • To reduce health inequalities, it will be important to take an approach of “proportionate universalism”,

By page 8 was floundering, tutting, shaking my head and then it dawned on me, these are the same people or rather people with the same backgrounds in academia, the armed forces and educationalists whose predecessors got us into this position, whose thinking is decades behind where it ought to be. They live their lives through reports, committees, papers and meetings and rarely, if ever, immerse themselves in the existence that the 80-90% of their profession actually live.

Thirty years ago their predecessors were similarly out of date, I was castigated and warned off for allowing my “team members”, a dental hygienist and two dental nurses, to visit a couple of primary schools that had never had any formal (or informal) dental health education. Apparently that was the role of the “community” dentists who rarely, if ever, visited and then to “do” things.

During National Smile Week I held a regular open house and (thanks to the BDHF) attracted a lot of media interest, the result a public put down in the letters page of the city newspaper from the LDC chairman.

The fact that I employed a full time hygienist in a one dentist practice provoked suspicion and comments from FPC/PCTs and the RDO. (ask your favourite ageing dentist to explain the acronyms)

Yes, everyone knows things must change but why does change have to be so far behind the curve? 

Please do take the time and read the report, HERE, it could be that as I have decided that life is too short for this stuff I am missing something, but after 40 years with a BDS I really don’t have the time to invest. 

  • It is clear that the DCP cadre is an essential element in the delivery of care and prevention. 

 

The Monday Morning Quote #482

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Thanks to my neighbour in Fahoura, Walt, for reminding me of this, (PSyou can find good optometry people in West Cork too).

The Monday Morning Quote #481

“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s.

So the path has to be your own.

You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself.

Are you prepared to honour your uniqueness in this way?” 

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

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