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  • Writer's pictureLASC LDC

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Hello Lancashire and S Cumbria

Having just come back from an enjoyable Cumbria experience up in the North Lakes I was excited to observe the new trend in leisure wear. As those of you who read this newsletter regularly know, I do have a thing about people who walk around streets and car parks using those ski poles. As we know you very rarely see these people up the fells all they do is want to give the impression they do that whilst hiking over to pay their parking charge. However statistical analysis by yours truly has uncovered that the unnecessary ski pole people have now moved to a new fashion accessory – cowboy hats – yes you heard that correctly. I saw numerous people walking about attempting to look like John Wayne without a horse. Weird really as I don’t think John Wayne ever went to the Lakes and was certainly never seen in Booth’s car park!

I did get myself some new wet weather trousers for the holiday from an on-line supplier. The trousers were excellent but there was one snag. The people who packed my trousers and sent them to me forgot to take the security tag out. Now this would not have been a problem in a shop because it would have been self- evident that the tag had not been removed when you tried to leave the premises however buying on line it is different and I didn’t notice until we were away so I was unable to remove it myself. That should not present a problem I hear you say but of course it does because you cannot enter a shop with them on in case it sets off the alarm. Imagine the embarrassment and scandal of being accused of stealing a pair of walking trousers; let alone the GDC investigation. Mrs A thought it was funny that I had to stand outside the shops a discreet distance from the doorways but for me it was a bit of a pain!

Primary Care Home: following a request from the rest of the Exec I am now going to dedicate the serious part of the Newsletter to the developing ideas which are currently becoming the main focus of the NHS. I intend to do this in my own words as there is plenty of official information out there which you can swot up on but if you are like me brief is best!

The beginning: there have been a number of emerging developmental ideas which in line with the normal NHS processes change their names and structures regularly. The one thing that has not changed is the direction of travel. The main thrust is to deliver services at “scale” across a defined geography. These new developments have gone through a process and there are a number of them but currently the term Integrated Care Organisation (ICO) seems to be the title (for this week anyway!) The one ICO development that is really taking off is called Primary Care Home (PCH) This is an idea conceived in America and is based on a number of GP practices around a population size of between 30,000 and 50,000. There are a rising number of pilot sites which have been the result of a successful application and are now shaping up multi-disciplinary service delivery within the local geographic site.

Primary Care Home Fleetwood: we do have a PCH pilot site within LASC and it is in Fleetwood. This pilot is based around three GP practices and a population size of around 40,000. Fairly early in the process we managed to get Oral Health recognised as an important part of the strategic development and also prioritised as an agenda item alongside other conditions such as Drugs and Substance Misuse, COPD, Diabetes, and Mental Health. Nick Barkworth and myself have been involved from the beginning and are now starting to work with the PCH Team around integrating Oral Health into the process. Oral Health initiatives, guidance and education will be provided by NHS England and Public Health England and a local dental practice in Fleetwood will be providing some bespoke clinical services all of which will become part of the overall multi-disciplinary Primary Care Team.

The needs analysis data is key in the development of services and we have a wealth of data from both the medical and dental angle. Pathway work is ongoing to develop services which directly deliver against the identified needs of the resident population

So why are we here and why are we getting involved I hear you ask. The answer is quite simple. We, as the Dental Profession, need to be in at the beginning of any new NHS development in order to contribute and ensure we fly the flag for Dentistry and Oral Health. We use the term Oral Health because it goes beyond the provision of dental services and has been an important opportunity to illustrate to our medical colleagues how important Oral Health is in maintaining good General Health.

The BDA are very interested in the Primary Care Home model and are working closely with the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) to embed Oral Health in the emerging plans. In Fleetwood we are ahead of the game and are “ doing it for real”. This has attracted a lot of attention at the BDA and we now have a blog distributed as part of the BDA Executive update. We have posted these updates on the LDC website under the Information Hub / Primary Care Home section. The blog is brief and designed to be an easy read!

For me the caveat behind all of this work is that if we are to take Oral Health and Dental Services forward under the PCH banner then any emerging contract reform must enable it to be delivered by GDP. Hence the importance of being in at the beginning.

To keep updated on Primary Care Home developments please go to our dedicated new page on the LDC website

Vanita Brookes: I have a message to pass on from Vanita , Consultant in Special Care Dentistry at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. Some of you may already know that Vanita is retiring which is a great loss to the profession. Vanita wanted to thank all of you out for working with her over the past years but I would like to reciprocate that by thanking Vanita for all she has done for us!

For those of you who do not know Vanita I have included below the brief bio from the Royal College of Surgeons website

Mrs Vanita Brookes qualified from the University of Liverpool in 1985, attained her FDSRCS Edinburgh 1989, a Diploma in Dental Public Health RCS England in 1996 and Membership in Special Needs Dentistry RCS Edinburgh in 2000. She was awarded FDSRCS England (Ad Eudem) in 2002 and granted an MSc from the University of Manchester in 1998. She was appointed as Consultant in Special Care Dentistry at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2007 and is also a Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry.

She is past president of the British Society of Disability and Oral Health and has recently served as a member of the working group to develop a National Strategic Framework for Special Care Dentistry.

Mrs Brookes has been involved with the Royal College work for many years as an examiner and Past Chair of the Diploma in Special Care Dentistry. She is currently RCS National Specialty Advisor in Special Care Dentistry for the Royal College of Surgeons England and Chair of SAC in Special Care Dentistry.

She was elected to the Faculty Board in 2015.

Up until recently was the chair of the Paediatric and Special Care Managed Clinical Network in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Quite a career history of someone who has made a major contribution to patient care and been a pillar of support to the local profession

Vanita though is not riding off into the sunset just yet – she will be doing a day a week at UCLan.

Just one more thing – on a recent jolly up for a night away in Ambleside Mrs A and myself were in the bar having a pre-dinner drink. A group of individuals then entered the bar and ordered drinks. One of these chaps was wearing a T shirt on which was printed “Stay Calm and Play Chess” - Are we serious!! I struggled to contain myself despite being assisted by Mrs A kicking me under the table. The conversation between these six or so individuals was all about chess moves and sacrificing pawns etc. I wondered to myself why they were in Ambleside to play chess but then I thought was there more to it – were they for example participants in “Extreme Chess” whereby they were going to have a game or two at the top of Helvellyn or dive down to the bottom of Windermere to do the same. I concluded though that by the look of them they were up to neither and were actually just boring!!


Have you booked in for the LDC/HEE Performance Event on 11th May at Lancaster Royal Infirmary?

This is a great opportunity for ALL members of the Dental Team to gain vital knowledge around Complaints Handling, Shifting the Balance, CQC updates and the LASC DPASS scheme

The course is FREE and bookable now on the Maxcourse site;

Onwards and Upwards


Bernard Alston


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