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  • Bernard Alston

Spring Newsletter 2016

Bernard’s News:

Hello Lancashire: fairly quiet at present which is good news in many respects! Some issues to report on but probably more light-hearted stuff in this edition!

RMS: you will all be aware of the new Referral Management Service for Lancashire which will commence on 1st April. Oral Surgery will be coming on board first of all, and then the other specialist areas gradually over a period of time. Loads of information out there to help with the take up, and the Routine Care Network members are acting in their “Local Champion” role to assist and provide support from a professional perspective. I am happy to take feedback on how the process is working in practice in order to feed back into the Local Dental Network. Please feel free to email me on or

RCN: we have mentioned much about the Routine Care Network (RCN) at the Dental Events over the past 12 months but I have had feedback that many of you are not aware of the role that the members fulfil on behalf of the profession. I would like to therefore give you some info as to who the RCN are and what we have been up to!

Predominantly the RCN is the network of GDPs and consists of dentists with experience of GDP practice. RCN Members (in geographic sequence!) Ian Wild - Lancaster Richard Stanage – Thornton-Cleveleys Zuber Bagassi - Blackpool Martin Kenyon - Lytham John Edwards - Preston Denise Forshaw - Skelmersdale Noel Bowen - Nelson Shaz Tahir - Rochdale Bernard Alston – (Acting Chair ) – Fylde Coast Phil Gale – LDC Exec Rep – East Lancs

As for what the RCN do

  1. We have RCN representatives attending meetings of the other specialist networks i.e. MOSS Clinical Network, Orthodontic Network, Special Care Network, Oral Health Improvement Network and the newly formed Restorative Network. The aim is to enable a grass roots GDP input into the provision of specialist dental services

  2. Audits – the RCN have developed four audit programmes around Antimicrobial Prescribing, Barriers to delivering “Delivering Better Oral Health”, Radiographic Prescribing, and Pathways to Specialist Care. The Antimicrobial Prescribing Audit is to be rolled out by the Area Team by the end of March.

  3. The RCN are inputting into access initiatives to be developed into the new financial year.

  4. RCN members attend the LDN as and when required.

  5. The RCN are involved in working up new referral pathways e.g. Specialist Periodontal Referral Pathway.

  6. Local Champion Role – the RCN members are available as “Local Champions” to be contacted by grass roots GDPs as necessary – an example would be around the newly introduced Referral Management Service. The contact emails for the RCN will be available on the LDC website. (Library / Specialist Networks). If you need to contact your local champion please refer to the LDC website for contact details.

Levy reduction: as the LDC funding is now coming back into line there will be a further reduction in Levy payments from April onwards. The levy will be reviewed by the three LDC Treasurers at regular intervals.

Just one more thing: Courier review: we do a fair amount of on line shopping and get stuff delivered by a variety of couriers. Performance and delivery methods vary so I have summarised our experiences below as part of the LDC Courier Review! Royal Mail – methodical, long winded, delivery carried out in a flurry of elastic bands. Always want a signature whether it is needed or not. Hermes – quick, convenient, inclined to throw parcels over the garden gate – OK for clothing but not too good for breakables such as glasses or microwaves. Nightfreight – great service. Will leave anything you order, no matter how much it is worth, on the driveway. OK if you are about but not too good if you are on holiday. Yodel – have an inclination to leave stuff in the blue bin. Again OK if you know it is there, not too good if you don’t and it gets recycled with your cardboard. UPS – dress like convicts in horrible dirty brown uniforms. In our area they have a “safe” partner to leave parcels if you are not in. Unfortunately in our area this is Bargain Booze. Safe enough but you do look like you have a drink problem when you have to go in and pick your parcel up on a Saturday morning from the Bargain Booze Store in the village.

Misrepresentation: I came across a rare sight the other day – a BMW without an M badge on it! It has become all too commonplace that people buy any kind of old BM and then “bung” a fake M badge on it – result – hey presto an M series BM! Add a cheap personal plate and then no-one knows how old it is – Happy Days! Mrs A took it into her own hands to put such an imposter in his place the other day when whilst driving she noticed a “Fake Boy” pull up alongside us at some traffic lights; obviously he was assuming our FWD was slow – on the changing of the lights without hesitation Mrs A flicked the lever into sport mode and floored it – and we left the “Fake Boy” standing. Go Mrs A!!! By the way I do hope none of our professional colleagues are pulling this fake BMW stunt as it would be misleading the public and as a result would be a matter for the GDC!

Advertising gaffe: listening to Smooth Radio the other day I witnessed an outstanding piece of advertising timing. First off was the Smile Centre in the Manchester area with their advert for “Ultra Suction dentures” you will never need fixative again!! This was immediately followed by the advert for the Dental Law Partnership when the plummy voiced chap goes “Have you had some dental work and you are not happy with it? Didn’t get the treatment or results you expected? If so call the DLP – hope the Smile Centre got their money back!!

Onwards and upwards Bernard Bernard Alston Sec Lancs LDC Executive

LDC Website Updates

You may have noticed we have a brand new and shiny website. Hopefully it is now clearer, and easier to find the information you need. If you find any broken links, or can’t find something you’re looking for, please email me

I’ve included a quick list of the main updates / new content below.

Hope you all had a good Easter Weekend; let me know if you need any help with the website ;-)

Best Wishes,

Stuart Stuart Johnson BDS Lancashire Coastal LDC / Communications Lead.

New information on the Website:

  • LDC Connections (BDA Newsletter) added to the main Library page.

  • 2 Week Referrals Documents / Forms for East Lancs / Blackburn with Darwen. (Library / Referrals)

  • GDPC Report 29th Jan at the BDA - Thanks to John Edwards. (Main Library page)

  • Area Team Liaison Minutes updated (Library / Area Team)

  • Policy book for Primary Dental Services - This is the guidebook for commissioners, from NHS England.

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