Sir Cliff’s victory: Why registrants with the General Dental Council should care.

From RadcliffesLeBrasseur via Lexology

At the heart of the judgment in Richard v BBC lies the significant determination that “as a matter of general principle, a suspect has a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to a police investigation”.

…..the judgment provides a useful opportunity to consider a long standing and unprincipled disparity between the treatment of doctors and that of dental professionals in the context of fitness to practise investigations….

….Doctors referred to the Interim Orders Tribunal (IOT) can be confident that their hearing will be held in private, unless they specifically elect for a public hearing….

….In stark contrast, dental professionals appearing before the Interim Orders Committee (IOC) of the GDC face a public hearing, unless they can persuade the Committee to exercise its discretion and sit in private….

Full article here.

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HPV vaccination – isn’t it time?

The science is there, isn’t it time the political will was there?

Dear Dr Rees,
I wanted you to be the first to know.
We’ve just got word that the UK Government’s scientific advisors have finally listened, and have recommended expansion of Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme to cover school-age boys.
HPV has been fuelling a surge in oropharyngeal cancers. And for years this profession has worked to win the argument for change.
Dentists are on the front line in the battle against oral cancer. So please, share this video.

We are now pressing all UK governments to move swiftly towards rollout of a national programme, so all our children can get protection from this devastating condition.
We have fought to put prevention into practice. This profession can take pride in what we’ve achieved, together.
Mick Armstrong
Chair, BDA

Link to the release here

 

Pass the parcel Part 94, now it’s Portman’s turn.

Swiss firm joins £300m race for Cheltenham winner’s dental chain

Jacobs Holding is among the suitors trying to get in the saddle with Cheltenham-winning jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, Sky News learns.

A Swiss family office whose investment firepower was partly generated by an international chocolate producer has joined the £300m race to buy the dental chain run by a former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey.

Sky News has learnt that Jacobs Holding, which last year snapped up Southern Dental, a group of NHS and private dental practices, is among the bidders for Portman Dental Care.

Full piece here.

Addendum June 7th 2018.

It appears that I was misled, the Portman group are re-financing and not getting out of dentistry – yet. Happy to make that clear. My apologies for any confusion.

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 Incisal Edge Podcast – Running an Event – with Chris Baker

Ever considered holding an event to promote your practice?

Then be sure to listen to my latest podcast conversation with Chris Baker from Corona Dental Marketing where we discuss the benefits and challenges of organising events.

 

Address To The Toothache – Burns Night

Researching for my "Toast to the Lassies" at the Burns Supper at 
The Celtic Ross Hotel tonight, I came across this poem:

Address To The Toothache 
My curse upon your venom'd stang, 
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang, 
An' thro' my lug gies mony a twang, 
Wi' gnawing vengeance, 
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang, 
Like racking engines! 

When fevers burn, or argues freezes, 
Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeezes, 
Our neibor's sympathy can ease us, 
Wi' pitying moan; 
But thee - thou hell o' a' diseases - 
Aye mocks our groan. 

Adown my beard the slavers trickle 
I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle, 
While round the fire the giglets keckle, 
To see me loup, 
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle 
Were in their doup! 

In a' the numerous human dools, 
Ill hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools, 
Or worthy frien's rak'd i' the mools, - 
Sad sight to see! 
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o'fools, 
Thou bear'st the gree! 

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell, 
Where a' the tones o' misery yell, 
An' ranked plagues their numbers tell, 
In dreadfu' raw, 
Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell, 
Amang them a'! 

O thou grim, mischief-making chiel, 
That gars the notes o' discord squeel, 
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel 
In gore, a shoe-thick, 
Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal 
A townmond's toothache!

Health Factory

I am fortunate, and grateful, to have a brother whose inclination and job means that he has an interest in many fields of medicine. Education, research, clinical and academia all provide him with stimulation. We are able to learn from each other (although I believe the balance favours and benefits me).

A part of his New Year clear out the 2010 film “Health Factory” arrived via a pretty large download yesterday and I would urge anyone who is involved in health care to watch it and then to ask themselves some very simple questions. Start with “Why?” as in “Why am I doing what I’m doing? and “Why am I doing it this way?”.

The film questions the way health services are provided and if the current obsession with the imposition of “business” processes benefits anyone, patients or (that awful word) providers.

As you can imagine for someone who describes himself as “The Dental Business Coach” I am capable of vigorously justifying the arguments for dealing with dentistry as a “business”. However this film has made me examine what I am doing for and with my clients.

It helped me to understand why gut feeling led me to turn down more clients than I accepted last year. Finally it reinforced the beliefs and convictions that led me into dentistry in the first place and made me realise that what I am doing these days is right.

Watching what happened when Norway imposed a new system and how hospitals were rewarded for “gaming” or “creative coding” took me back to my early days of NHS associateship. The culture  at that time, encouraged speed of work and high output leading to a “pile high sell cheap” approach where the work was made to match the narrative of the NHS scale of fees. As the fees evolved so did clinical practice to maximise income. It was only when I took control back by working privately on a one to one basis with patients that I felt in control and capable of giving my best without compromise.

One can argue, and I do, that dentistry easily adapts to “business” models and even fashion. There is much that can be measured easily and should be, a lot more that could be but isn’t because the “need “ is not appreciated. However the imposition and measurement of many Key Performance Indicators is frequently a waste of time and energy providing results that signify little.

You can’t measure trust, patience, co-operation or happiness (in spite of what some gurus would have you believe).

As one of the featured clinicians said, “You end up measuring what can be measured, which will always be marginal to what the core of the job is.”

So for me, it’s a return to examining the abstract, difficult to quantify elements of dentistry. Anyone can measure things. It takes experience, and dare I say it, a certain amount of gravitas, to feel, to empathise, to understand and analyse what health means, to both patients and clinicians.

Worth a look, you can rent it and see the preview HERE.

And there are more clips on YouTube

 

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