British Association of Dental Therapists

Representing dental therapists since 1963

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Amanda’s May Presidential blog 2017.

Greetings to all of you, and especially to those of you in Manchester who have woken up to a terrible tragedy. My heart and thoughts go out to the City of Manchester which over the last 25 years has seen its fair share of terrorist activities.

I was a Manchester student in 1996 when the Arndale centre was bombed. By a strange twist of fate my friends and I weren’t in the centre buying reams of paper- in the days before computers.

I remember a lot of chaos, we couldn’t get trains for a few days and it creates a very unsettling feeling of vulnerability. But Manchester people are strong, courageous and will get on and live their lives in despite of the hate that some people unfortunately decide to act on and act out in our society.

My thoughts are also with all of the students in Manchester and other cities, sitting their final exams in all subjects but especially hygiene and therapy. We all at BADT wish you every success in your endeavours.

So people, there’s a lot of things going on: -If you haven’t heard, BADT and BSDHT are running a joint fundraising campaign to raise money for the prescribing rights project, ’Subscribe to prescribe.’

As of this morning, we have had 195 excellent people donate to the prescribing funding and I send my heartfelt thanks to all of you. Equally, there are thousands of therapists and hygienists on the register that aren’t engaging with this project yet and some people seem disappointed that we aren’t going for full rights.Im aware there are lots of questions and therefore I’m going to answer some of the queries flying around the social media sites.

Why aren’t we going for full rights?

Fiona Sandom our past president and Michaela O’Neill past president for the BSDHT have attended lots of meetings to get the information together to take these first tentative steps to prescribing; After much thought and debate it was decided to go down the exemption route for many good reasons; The main reason being that full prescribing rights could take over a decade. The exemption route we are taking will get us to the destination quicker (approx. 18 months) of being able to access up to 30 drugs (not 2 drugs btw) and will get our foot in the door to prescribing. Once we prove our safety and also very importantly that our education frameworks are robust then in time full prescribing rights should be an option. This is the start of the journey that we need to take to reach the final destination.

Why do I need to pay ?

Or perhaps I should say, INVEST !

Unfortunately, the NHS does not have any spare money for development of professional groups. Our numbers in allied medical grouping terms are small- we are the elite of dentistry after all and we total around 8000. As an example, Physio-therapists who have been through this process fairly recently total 40,000. Interestingly, a large proportion of physio’s register with their professional bodies, pay their subs and as a positive consequence, have residual funds which were utilised. We don’t have that luxury, the professional group support is smaller than it was 10 years ago and we don’t have funds to commit to a project of this enormity and significance.

Therefore we are crowd-funding to support two project leads, one hygienist and one therapist to create, research and collate the data set needed to put forward our application. This is a complex process that has to go to public consultation and then to government and the MHRA and this all costs time and money.

I think a £10 donation is not asking too much is it ? This is very much about you and me and people practising now getting on board; but more importantly, its about the public getting treated better, dentists relieved of stress and our future Hygienists and Therapists being able to develop our very precious profession.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE care and please see the good in this project and donate £10.

Lots more going on too…

We have our annual BADT conference and AGM in 3 weeks time in Birmingham. If you want to learn more about the prescribing rights project, chat to the CDO, learn about the practical care of the deep carious lesion, and how the mouth relates to other diseases then please do come along. The details are on our website We have a welcome breakfast for students and we look forward to learning and sharing thoughts together.

I attended the launch of Smile month 2017 hosted by the British Oral health foundation in London on the 9th May. It seems that school teachers are reaching out to the foundation for resources for teaching children about oral diseases and this is so encouraging. Therapists are now on the leaflet series too – which was so nice to see.

On May 12th We hosted our press launch for the prescribing project at the Dentistry show and the the exec team were there in force to man the stand and help spread the word. Thanks to Fiona and Maddy for their hard work.Fiona also chaired the therapy day there on the Saturday which had a good turn out. We need help manning the stands- please offer up help if and when you can.

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