British Association of Dental Therapists

Representing dental therapists since 1963

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BADT Presisent’s November Blog

Dear Members and colleagues,

My first month as your “President” has been incredible!

After the hype of the BADT National Conference died down, I would like to thank everyone who attended and made the conference possible, from council members to industry support, the speakers and sponsors and ultimately you that attended. It was a great event with a fabulous atmosphere. The feedback has been very positive and we will take that onto next year.

The date is already set for next year in Liverpool in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel please save the date in your diaries, it will be  on the 13th & 14th September 2019.

The first official event I attended was The Chief Dental Officer’s briefing on fourth of October at the BDIA show at the Excel in London. The briefing reviewed the extent of work being delivered by the Chief Dental Officer’s team; Sara Hurley (CDO), Janet Clark (Deputy CDO), Eric Rooney (Deputy CDO) and Andrew Taylor (Head of Programme Office of the Chief Dental officer), covering amongst other topics was “A clearer guidance when treating the young and vulnerable groups.” All the Dental Societies and Associations attended.

Sara Hurley informed us about the developments with the reforms and the integrated approach that is being taken to health and social care. Sara discussed the importance of oral and systemic health and the concept of ‘”Putting the mouth back in the body”, which was actually the title of last year’s BADT conference!

The current development of the NHS England’s strategic plan is a key opportunity to integrate oral health and work together with other healthcare professionals to deliver high quality patient care.

The presentation covered the issues of contract reform and clinical leadership. In terms of contracts, 76 prototype practices have been recruited with a further 50 planned by April 2019. The contact delivery needs to be commensurate or better than the current UDA system; some issues, which have been highlighted, and 17 further recommendations are being discussed.

Janet Clark discussed improvements, with new policies and pathways especially the link between diabetes and oral health, and discussed the importance of periodontal treatment in reducing the medical burden on diabetes management. Janet referred to the toolkit that which has been developed to help in diabetic management pathways in order to provide best patient care.

Record keeping standards and the commissioning standards were presented with the restorative guidelines now in the final stages of approval.

The presentation also discussed the dental workforce and a need to develop flexible career pathways to help improve recruitment.

When I posted that I attended this meeting on our social media page, I was thrilled to be contacted by a dental therapist who is currently involved in a pilot study.  I have since learnt that the exciting research is being undertaken by a team at Bangor University to explore whether dental therapist can maintain the oral health pilot study the role of a dental therapist in performing routine NHS check-ups. It is a pilot study and could lead to further research to provide evidence of the efficiency and and competence of dental therapists. Over half of all dental check-ups undertaken by general dental practitioners (GDPs) result in no further treatment. Research has shown that dental therapists (DTs) can be just as competent at detecting dental decay, gum disease and oral cancer. This means Dental Therapists’s could be utilised in performing check-ups on low risk patients freeing up the GDPs time to concentrate on more complex cases. Resources could also be freed up to treat patients who currently do not access care including house bound elderly. The study is 15 months long and low risk patients are randomly allocated to have a check up with a GDP or a Dental Therapist, the patient’s oral health is then assessed at the beginning and the end of the trial. The results of this trial will help plan for a full-scale study to see if the DTs role can be utilised to improve access to dentistry. This is such a positive step and I am waiting patiently to hear more.

I have been asked to meet with one of major corporate directors who contacted me recently wanting a meeting to discuss how BADT can help with systems and integrating therapists into their many practices successfully. This is a meeting I am really looking forward too as it may lead to positive outcomes of more jobs for Dental Therapists… watch this space!

I Presented at Birmingham Dental School to the Directors and Tutors Group. This was an opportunity to highlight BADT and what we do as an Association; I discussed how we represent you at important meetings and how we want to work with students in the schools for the future.

I have already attend some dental schools offering support and advice to the final year therapists going out into the big world after university life. This can sometimes be a daunting task for the young newly qualified so hopefully we can use our experience and help them get jobs and support them in their early working careers.

It was a pleasure to attend the Colgate DCP Research Awards, named after Professor Robin M Davies who sadly passed away in 2015 and this is a fantastic way to honour an incredible man that contributed so much energy and inspiration to our profession.

BADT are supporting qualified Therapists, with some refresher courses. There are four one-day courses in the series now, revising cavity design and materials, anterior composites, posterior composites and a paediatric day. Two of the Deaneries are supporting these courses and we hope to spread them further afield.

Debbie Hemmington (BADT Chair) organised a taster study day at LonDec for prospective dental therapy foundation students for the new pilot Dental Therapy Foundation Training Scheme that London KSS Deanery are starting in January. The students experienced virtual training in the medical emergencies simulation suite, restorative hands on in phantom head and 2 mini lectures in an informative and exciting day. The scheme is open to newly qualified Dental Therapists (2 years or less since qualification). For an application form please email, closing date is 23rd November.

The “Exemptions” project is moving forward, perhaps not as quickly as we would like, but Fiona Sandom (BADT) Michaela O’Neil (BSDHT) are still working on this project on behalf of dental hygienists and dental therapists. Due to a change in the Minister for Health, there has been a delay in the process, however we are hoping the project will go out to public consultation very early in the New Year. So keep your eyes peeled…

BADT Council has vacancies at present; please consider helping us support our wonderful Association.

Current vacancies are:

Journal Editor

Regional Representatives:

North West England

Northern Ireland

East Anglia


Debbie McGovern
President BADT

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