New Year's Newsletter 2017

Hello Lancashire: as we swing gently into 2017 and Christmas 2016 becomes a thing of the past we look back on the previous year. Yes OK, so the likes of Slade, The Pogues, Johnny Mathis and the Christmas evergreen Michael Buble ( sorry haven’t got an acute accent on my computer) have disappeared off the radio and are tucked up in some expensive exotic holiday resort counting up their royalties but the world does go on doesn’t it! What do we remember from 2016? Firstly the liaisons between the LDC Exec and the Area Team remain excellent as always. What we can guarantee is that nothing dental will happen in Lancashire without us knowing about it. This is said with the obvious caveat that central actions are beyond anyone’s control locally. The Routine Care Network continues to develop and influence the Lancashire Dental Strategy and the RCN in combination with the specialist networks ie Oral Surgery, Special Care, Orthodontics, Oral Health Improvement, Restorative and Research feed into the Local Dental Network (LDN) as the overarching network to directly develop and implement the Lancashire Dental Strategy in combination with the Local Area Team. We do of course have three LDC representatives on the LDN and the views and opinions of the profession are always considered. In May last year we had the visit from the CDO and she spent a couple of days up here. As part of her visit she attended the LDN, a meeting of Central Lancs LDC and had an exclusive meeting with the Lancs LDC Executive. At this meeting we were all impressed with her enthusiasm for LDCs and how they contribute to getting the profession the respect it deserves. She was very impressed with our network arrangements and what has been achieved in Lancashire. Dental access funding was allocated both recurrent and non-recurrent following influence and direction from the RCN. One of the issues that emerged here is the old problem of the very short notice period to implement these schemes – the RCN/LDC have taken this forward as an important consideration for the future however it is very difficult in the current financial position to secure funding early, in the middle of winter pressures etc Healthwatch England did some work on a patient complaint advice document which has now gone through the discussion stages. Throughout the process the BDA and LDCs were able to contribute and from the Lancashire perspective we did bang on about bringing the complaint as far back to the local level as could be achieved. What was encouraging was that we were listened to and managed to influence what is now not an unreasonable end result. The LDC in conjunction with the Area Team are pursuing the improvement of Sharps Injury end point delivery in line with the guidance document we developed a couple of years ago and that can be found on the website. A recent incident where an A&E department was found lacking escalated the situation and I have had reports that a more recent situation was handled well – we can further improve services within the development of the new Commissioning Guide to Occupational Health Services into 2017. The Health Protection Agency have been alerted by the LDN to the situation and discussions are ongoing to improve end point delivery of care. Last year the LDC Exec were informed that the footprint covered by our Lancashire Area Team will expand to include South Cumbria from April 2017. We have been in discussions with our colleagues in the North to look at how we approach this from an LDC perspective and this is still under discussion. The website still continues to be a valuable resource and please do feel free to take advantage to use the website for any associate / locum posts. There is a standardised form which needs to be used but this is available to download from the Associates and Locums page here. We also use the website / mailing list to send out alerts and notices from a variety of sources. The other point to raise here is that to access this information you need to register; please use the login / sign-up link from the homepage at - you will get an automatic email in order to confirm your details. Overall 2016 was not a bad year and please be reassured that your LDCs will continue to work hard to ensure the interests of the profession in Lancashire are well represented. Just one more thing: How expensive are we as a profession? Over the years we have had a considerable amount of flack about the cost of dental care which in the main is over-exaggerated. We are however great value for money compared to our veterinary colleagues. Last Autumn our horse had what amounts to a cracked cusp; the vets call it a slab fracture, but basically it is the same. We were not present at the time but this was picked up at a routine dental visit and is due to uneven wear of the molar teeth. Sharp edges develop; these edges are normally smoothed over with a massive rasp! Sometimes these sharp edges fracture as was the case with our horse. Simple job you would think as the horse was already sedated, quick flick with an elevator (yes they do have those) and Bob's your uncle. However the dental visit was abandoned and a visit to the Vet's Equine Centre was advised. We agreed to have the procedure carried out at our stables so a visit was arranged for a “Specialist” in Equine Dentistry to remove the loose cusp. Another sedation and the fractured cusp was flicked off. The sequel however was that subsequently due whatever reason the horse was still not eating normally. The vet was summoned and after another sedation and oral examination all was clear. Next the vet advised a blood test which I went along with to clear up any doubts. Two days later the horse was fine and the results from the blood test was clear – surprise surprise – the bill eventually was just under £500 – a snip I thought for the removal of a cracked cusp! I concluded that we do represent excellent value for money! And another thing: Mrs A and I always watch the Apprentice every year and do find it an interesting series. As far as I can gather the episodes seem to be filmed at quite a warm time of the year as the sun always seems to be shining. What does confuse me therefore is that when the candidates get the finger pointed at them and subsequently ‘fired’ they do the walk of shame and get into a taxi dressed as if they are going to the arctic! How come? Onwards and upwards! Have a happy and prosperous 2017 from the Lancashire LDC Executive John/Andy H/Mike J/Andy C/Mike C/Bruce/Noel/Bernard Bernard Bernard Alston Sec Lancs LDC Exec

#CDO #occupationalhealth #Healthwatch #LDN #sharps #needlestick #rcn #routinecarenetwork