British Association of Dental Therapists

Representing dental therapists since 1962

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President’s June Blog

Happy Summer solstice to all and I’m writing this on perhaps the hottest day of 2017. I hope you’re all keeping cool. There are lots of photos of therapists and hygienists wearing shorts to work on Facebook and Instagram- and frankly I don’t blame you.

Solstice means standing still and in this case the sun standing still, but that is certainly not what BADT has been doing over the past month. In fact we have had a very busy time working on behalf of our members and the wider profession and flying the flag for Therapists.

As a professional collaboration with BSDHT we raised nearly 7K on the crowd funding site for the exemptions project which finished on June 6th– and huge thanks to everyone who got behind that. We have been asked not to call the campaign the prescribing project as we wont be ‘prescribing’ per se. We will hopefully get permission to have an exemption from using certain POM medicines and whilst we re-brand our campaign and mission statements there is no current crowd- fund on line. We will however be back with another round of crowd-funding as soon as a decision is made on a message that works for all parties.

The BADT  hosted our 2017 Conference and AGM ‘Putting the mouth back in the body’ in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios a funky warehouse venue in Birmingham’s old canal district. It was a boutique meeting where we had 50 delegates and where we hosted the CDP, the deputy CDO and a student chorum who came for BADT’s first student and newly qualified breakfast. All students are welcome to attend.

The breakfast was great and it was an honour to meet out next generation of Therapists who are so passionate and ready to change the oral health world of their patients’ lives and beyond. A huge thanks to Jess Hulme and Philips for their support with that.

The CDO Sara Hurley gave up her valuable time to speak to us about new NHS England initiatives such as check ups for 1 yr. olds. She gave us some metrics and insights into the new contract and how skill mix will be key improving the health of the nation. We will need to make sure that a contract is delivered that gives Therapists more flexibility to treat in our scope and fair working rights going forward. All participants had the opportunity to take part in the Q and A forum that brought themes to the table such as foundation schemes, direct access in the NHS, contract numbers and support to retrain. It was great for the students to meet the CDO in such an intimate setting.

The Deputy CDO Janet Clarke talked us through the time lines for the exemptions project and the direction of travel for this very important initiative. This will be a game changer for therapists now and in the future.

Our other speakers deserve a mention, we listened to speakers from Public health England, Wales on care of the elderly and sugar and Juliette Reeves gave a great presentation on inflammation and nutrition- this area is so important and there’s an article in the New Scientist about nutrition and inflammation on the FB network via Ian Dunn at the moment.

On the Saturday we attended workshops on ‘Managing the deep carious lesion’ and ‘Hall technique’ which were well received and I think we can all say will change the way we do things in practice -which is the ultimate goal in dental education. A great thanks to all of our speakers for their hard work.

Our Masquerade ball on Friday night was great fun and everyone got on the dance floor to let off some steam. A rendition of Beyonces, “I’m a single lady” was a particular highlight!!

On the Monday after conference I met Deb our chair and incidently, our new president elect and off we went to the CDO’s briefing meeting at the Imperial war museum in London. It was a dramatic venue for a presentation full of potentially dramatic changes ahead; Therapists and the utilisation of our group was mentioned not 1-2 but 3 times and our exemptions project was presented to all the big hitters in the legislation, provision and regulation of Dentistry. The message brought home was the need for skill mix and how prevention, improvement and audit will be at the forefront of NHS provision. I think there are good times ahead. There are people up at the top that can influence, they value our contribution and see the potential that Therapists have to help reduce caries in the population. Deb and I got up and clapped at one point- we were very pleased!

Fiona has been working on the exemptions project and will brief us all when there is news. Maddy our trade officer did a great job at getting us Industry support at conference, Jacky our secretary pulled off a great AGM and our treasurer Anne- Marie made the numbers work in our favour.

Mel Pebble our new chair elect and myself presented at the BDA conference on ‘How to utilise a Therapist in practice’ on the Saturday morning. We had a full theatre of GDP’s and interest was good. Small acorns make a great oak tree and on that note lets keep sowing the seeds of who we are and what we do and lets keep the spirit of Therapy high and lets all get the public on board. After reading this, try and tell one patient everyday what a Dental Therapist is and slowly but surely we will be in the public psyche.

Finally a HUGE thank-you to our sponsors without whom our conference simply would just not happen :-

Colgate- and to Gail Vernon and her team


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Finally,the BADT is supporting fluoride initiatives, here’s a link for the present water fluoridation projects in the UK. -lets all get behind this for the next generation of our children.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and glasses !!!     

Best wishes Amanda .

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