British Association of Dental Therapists

Representing dental therapists since 1962

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The History of the BADT

The BADT was founded in 1962 with the first annual general meeting taking place on 2nd March 1963 at New Cross School for Dental Auxiliaries.

The minutes from that meeting included discussions on insurance against personal risk what we now call professional indemnity. Note that by the time this was approved the first qualified students had been working for almost two years!

Since that time BADT has been working for Therapists in all areas of the profession, improving working conditions and pay and fighting for recognition within the profession.

We are now developing relationships with other Dental Therapy Associations all over the world.

Here is a brief summary of what the Association has achieved over the years taken from the archives of minuted meetings:

1963 A copy of personal risk policy sent to the GDC for approval
1964 Personal Insurance approved and put into place.
1969 New regulations state that dentists no longer need to be on the premises when a therapist is working.
Start to campaign for a graded system of pay.
Start to campaign to include ID Block in the training programme.
September – Auxiliaries become an established class
of dental profession and GDC registration begins.
The BADT suggests changing the name of Dental Auxiliary –
It surveys the members and Dental Therapist is the most popular.
1971 Dental auxiliaries officially on the Whitely Council pay scale.
Medical Protection Society accepts Auxiliaries as members.
1973 Name change presented to GDC – who referred it to a sub committee.
1976 Adding ID Blocks to the remit discussed at Ancillary Dent Workers Committee
having surveyed Dental Officers in community services successfully for their support.
Association states its positive views on working in general practice on a NHS Royal commission.
1979 Name changes to Dental Therapist.
ID Block Administration proposal referred to GDC Committee – motion defeated.
1981 Dental Strategy Review Group recommends the closure of New Cross School and the cessation of training Dental Therapists altogether.
The battle for survival begins!
1983 New Cross School closes – the battle was lost – but the war was won.
Dental Therapists would be continued to be trained but in vastly reduced numbers.
The London Hospital Therapy School opens for training for 8 students who will qualify as both a therapist and a hygienist.
1992 The fight begins in earnest to raise our profile in an effort to secure the right to work in practice.
1993 The word Diploma replaces Certificate.
Nuffield report submission – BADT submits proposals and recommendations for expansion of duties and working in GDP.
1994 BADT council attend Nuffield meeting to verbally support their proposals.
Meanwhile re-grading continues as Area Health authorities begin to change over to trusts.
1997 Once again BADT submits a rationale to the GDC for extention duties to include ID Blocks and deciduous pulpotomies.
1998 Changing the Dental Act to allow Dental Therapists to work in practice is deferred due to change in government.
1999 GDC decide positively on extended duties.
The term PCD (Profession Complimentary to Dentistry) comes into play which encompasses Dental Therapists, Hygienists, Nurses and Technicians.
2001 Denied entry to GDP by the Privy Council on advice from the Department Of Health. The BADT begin earnest talks to have the decision reversed with the support of the GDC. BADT Chairperson assures members at the ASM that letters are being written to every conceivable outlet.
2002 A momentous year in the history of Dental Therapists and the BADT.
The President of the BADT is present at the House of Commons when the regulation change is debated and passed with no objections. The remit is extended; Dental Therapists can not only work in practice but own one and employ dentists. The battle and the war is finally won!!
2004 Agenda for Change begins. BADT work tirelessly for correct grading. Despite presenting evidence for the criteria for grading and mammoth efforts most PCT’s write their own criteria ignoring advice. This will become an ongoing battle for many years yet
The name PCD is changed to DCP – Dental Care Professionals.
2005 2nd Section 60 order means that the GDC will be able to alter the remit for DCPs without the need for Privy Council agreement. Which means the Dental Act no longer needs to be changed in order for Dental Therapists to extend their duties even further.
2008 CPD – Continuous Professional Development is introduced for all DCP’s.
2011 BADT submit a proposal to the GDC for Direct Access for therapy services and a joint proposal with BSDHT for hygiene services.
2013 Direct Access is approved by the GDC.

History of course does not stop there – the BADT continues to represent its members with the GDC, the RCS, BDA. Parliamentary committees and many more professional councils and meetings. . Striving for good relationships, good practice, good courses and increasing recognition. In 2001 despite many more having been trained there were 429 Dental Therapists on the GDC Registration Roll. In 2012 there were over 2000. Definitive figures are difficult as some dual qualified students are registered a hygienist first.