Hello Lancashire: well we have just had a week of what is dangerously close to summer weather! Fortunately Mrs A, myself and our little Staffie were up in the Lakes – now there is a first – we got the good week! Everything is ticking over steadily in Lancashire with a great deal of strategic planning coming through the Routine Care Network – I am now posting the RCN updates on the website so you can all keep up to speed with what we are up to. Memory Lane: as I look back on my 39 years since qualification I want to highlight some of the landmarks and features of dentistry past over the next few issues of the newsletter. First off the blocks is the good old hot air oven – this device would breach everything HTM 01-05 describes as good practice. Instruments were washed in the sink and then put into the hot air oven for a period of time and could be taken out when it was felt appropriate! There was no Infection Control Policy, no print out to ensure compliance, no service record etc etc – anecdotes from older practitioners joke about warming their lunch in hot air ovens – not something I did personally but I have a feeling some dentists did use them for this purpose!

CDO Visit

The Chief Dental Officer, Sara Hurley visited Lancashire in late May. As part of the visit the CDO met with the Lancashire LDC Executive. The meeting went very well and the CDO was very supportive of LDCs and saw them as an important part of linking with the profession. Below is a brief summary of the meeting. Present with the CDO were – John Edwards/Mike Jolly/Andy Cow/Phil Gale/Mike Cheadle/Bruce Porteous/Bernard Alston. The Exec were mindful that not all problems experienced by the profession were within the gift of the CDO to resolve but we wanted to give her some food for thought and possibly consider into the future. The Exec were also keen to raise the profile of LDCs as representatives of the profession and are keen to move forward in a collaborative manner by demonstrating the good relationships we have with our Area Team colleagues in Lancashire Below is a summary of issues discussed. Some were for information only and some were raised as problems for the profession Communication with the profession: Bernard Alston: BA outlined the current communication systems in place across the County

  • LDCs website

  • Bi-monthly newsletter

  • LDCs / Area Team developing joint egroup to ensure communication with all practitioners in Lancashire

  • The need to reintroduce Dental Appraisal –supported by the CDO – National Programme is being considered

Working relationship with Area Team: Andy Cow / Mike Cheadle MCh/AC outlined the current relationship with the Area Team to include:

  • Monthly Liaison Meeting

  • Joint projects eg Occupational Health Protocol

  • Joint meetings with the CQC to include Area Team and LDC Reps

  • Representation on LDN/Sub Networks/Performance Groups

  • Asking for the resurrection of PASS Schemes to support practitioners experiencing performance issues before they get into serious trouble

  • Compass issues – work in hand at centre

Financial: John Edwards / Mike Jolly: JE/MJ outlined some financial concerns

  • The handling of slippage not consistent across all ATs – to be addressed at centre.

  • Concern around time limited contracts – different models being considered

  • Practice funding – concerns re what is in effect a pay cut year on year

  • Varied UDA values across the county – resources limited due to contract reform.

Issues for GDPs: Phil Gale/Bruce Porteous

  • Poor recruitment opportunities in Lancashire

  • Variation in Oral Health across the County – concerns re excessive caries incidence in Lancashire – multi disciplinary approach required – “Smile for Life” ideal solution

  • “Minimum wage” for dentists to be developed to ensure the profession receives the acknowledgement deserved

Overall the CDO was impressed with what she saw in Lancashire and has taken back the issues raised at various meetings over the day and a half she was up here. Encouraging from the Exec’s point of view was that she is pro LDCs and keen to engage with the profession

Occupational Health Services

A new commissioning guide for Occupational Health Services has been released and outlines which areas of these services will be funded and by who. On first read it looks to be a step in the right direction and Nick Barkworth and myself will be looking at how we move it forward and how we dovetail it into the work from a couple of years ago around access to Occupational Health for GDPs.

Just one more thing!

There will be some of you out there who have signed up to the eGDC/CPD pilot as did I. The pilot is to test out a new way of recording our CDP over the five year cycle prior to release in the next year or so. For those of you who are not familiar with it they ask you to pretend that a month is a year and you submit your declaration at the end of each month for the ‘virtual’ year. You are allowed to make up your declaration and declare fictitious hours that are supposed to be relevant to your practice. So lets get this right – you make up and declare false information to the GDC!! That seems sooo wrong! Never mind that is what they ask us to do. After all this I cannot see how the proposed new system is much different from the old one apart from the fact we are asked to do 20 hours verifiable per year and there seems to be no mention of non-verifiable. Just one more thing: on shopping recently to get some travel toothbrushes for our holiday I went to our local Home Bargains store where they did indeed have what I wanted, but they were called ‘Portable Toothbrushes’ Mmm says Alston to himself – when is a toothbrush not portable? Good question. I then scoured the store just to establish if there were any non-portable toothbrushes. Were they extremely large and heavy – I will never know because I did not find any. Last but certainly not least: during the meeting of the Exec with the CDO the conversation moved to the fact that Phil Gale is Welsh and also the CDO originates from Wales. The CDO said to Phil; Where were you from, and Phil told her – she then said what school did you go to and Phil told her – she then told Phil what her maiden name was and it turns out they were in the same class at school!!! That’s all for now Onwards and upwards. Bernard Bernard Alston Sec Lancs LDC Executive

#meetingwithareateamdirectorcommissioner #occupationalhealth #routinecarenetwork #CDO