British Association of Dental Therapists

Representing dental therapists since 1962

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President’s December Blog

President’s blog December 2017 BADT.

Well its December, how did that happen?

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year.’ To quote a favourite American Christmas standard. The season of Goodwill, Christmas and other festivals are upon us- and to give it all a dusting of festive magic there is a lot of snow across the British Isles right now- lets hope we get another dusting for the 25th!

I hope everyone is well, keeping warm and looking forward to putting the high speed on its coupling, hand piece down, and closing the laptop for a few days -or more perhaps if you’ve planned some leave.

It has been a busy month at BADT as we have been attending numerous meetings and getting conference organised and the structure for the weekend completed. Please put the 28/29th September 2018 in your diaries for the Belfry at Oxford, for what is going to be a fabulous weekend; With a new president being sworn in- so to speak, an American college reunion themed dinner dance- think of Grease. And lectures looking at self-development and improving the practical and theoretical knowledge of out dental therapy community.

Earlier this month, Deb our president elect and I attended meetings at the GDC. The meetings were looking at Fitness to practice and how this process can be made less complicated, less scary, and more efficient. The standards department are looking at using the data for learning opportunities on ‘what to do’ and more importantly, ‘what not to do’ and trends in complaints and FTP (Fitness to practice) hearings. Deb has asked the GDC for a place on the portal for people who wish to make a complaint- so people are checked and have to prove identity to avoid duplication and bogus reporting- well done Deb – it was a confident move. We also asked for more support for DCP’s going through FTP, especially our dental nurse colleaeges who may not be able to fund the help of a legal specialist.

Jacky attended a soiree in London for the launch of Dev. Patel’s new app ‘Brush-link’ and she will writing about this in our next journal.

Deb braved the weather and went to Leeds on Thursday last to speak to students and newly qualified Therapy graduates. Congratulations to the Leeds newly qualified Therapists and other new cohorts that have worked so hard and passed their exams this year. Our thoughts are also with those who are taking finals at Essex as I write this.

Yesterday, the 12th December I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dentistry reception at Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament. There is a new Minister in place for Public Health and Primary Care, Steve Brine MP:  He was dynamic and very clued up on Dentistry and the problems of access- so I am optimistic. The Minister last year didn’t have any facts at his disposal, which was a slight concern.

I do think it would be so powerful if we all wrote to our MP’s and indeed Steve Brine about the NHS contract; that we cannot open a course of treatment, do our job and treat the public as we are trained to do. I think that is something we could all do to help our cause.

I also had a teleconference meeting yesterday morning, regarding Dental Education reform and the short term adjustments to education stakeholder group: There are some very powerful people in that group. I will brief you all about this after Christmas as I’m waiting for the official minutes.

During the call I did stress that the contract is killing DCP involvement in prevention and that training and contract are inextricably linked. If people cant get jobs they will not sign up and pay to do the Therapy course – that’s a truism.

We now have a contract work-stream going ahead which I’m pleased about. Little acorns all the way!

On Friday the 15th I will be briefed by the NHS Education funding department HEFCE on a financial piece: the Profit and Loss of training a Therapist and the ramifications this has for the profession for the future. This group have reached out to us so it will be interesting to hear what they have to say and again I will report back in the January blog.

In essence there’s a lot of activity in Dentistry and across the profession we are all at a cross roads in funding, training and provision of dentistry to the public. It’s a time of real transition. We all need to keep our ears to the ground, lobby our MP’s and work with our dental colleagues as we continue navigating towards the new contract which is due in 2019.This may be our time, and it should be our time and we need to be prepared to roll out our Therapy scope. Retraining will be needed and we are planning this as I write to you. We are just waiting for the cost elements to be finalised, the hire of phantom- head rooms etc. and as soon as we have the full package, members will be given first priority for booking. Please register your interest on the BADT website.

And finally huge thanks to the amazing BADT team who work so hard for all of us. To Fiona for the prescribing work and to the executive team who are such a support to me- and to all of us.

The future looks bright and here’s a favourite Christmas poem of mine to sign off with -whichever God you believe in or none at all.

It comes from George V Christmas Day broadcast in 1939. Looking at the date it must have been a time of great uncertainty with the UK on the brink of WWII. It contains a lot of encouragement- well I think so- enjoy!

And I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied, “ Go out into the darkness, and put your hand in the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”


Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)


Have a great Christmas everyone.

Contact for Steve Brine: APPG for Dentistry/Under-secretary for Health .

Best wishes




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