Bernard's New World Blog


Hope you are all keeping well in this crazy world!

In all my years in dentistry I have never known such a period of unrest as we have at the moment. Information has been conflicting, opinions have varied and this has made life extremely difficult for the profession

So where does that leave us in GDP land?

Managing the present situation is paramount and the profession across LASC have really risen to the occasion and supported the development of the Urgent Dental Care System to deliver very basic care.

Confusion has arisen around what is an AGP, which PPE do we need for which procedure etc etc. I think we are getting more clarity now but it has not been easy.

To support the UDCs a Leadership Structure has been established to be the first point of contact for any UDC that is experiencing problems or has a good idea that could be rolled out. The Leadership Structure reports directly to the LDN so consistency and support is standardised

As for day to day living we need to stay 2 metres apart which is not really a problem until you have to see a patient and then unless you have extremely long arms and keen eyesight you will struggle. That is where your PPE comes in! Acquiring PPE has been challenging but the LDC Exec has stepped in here and supported the cause. Andy Harvey, Co-Chair of East Lancs LDC and Exec member has become "Mr PPE" and has worked tirelessly to source reasonable priced PPE for the profession across LASC. This is not easy as you will know, a quick look on EBay and you will see unscrupulous individuals selling 500ml hand wash for £15.00! Andy has an eye for a bargain and has done a great job.

Communication is key in these confusion times and we have been well looked after by Stuart and Zoe at the Exec Website Team who are really on the ball with updates and information on a daily basis. Registrations to the LDCs Website have rocketed over the last few weeks because people are realising how much info we have on there. The Website Team work closely with NHSE to get info distributed so we can make sure we are up to date. If you know of colleagues who are not registered with us then let them know. Don't forget the website/egroup is also open to Practice Managers.

OK so the present crisis is upon us, we are managing to get through it but what happens after it is all over? This will be a long process and a nightmare for the economy of the UK.

There are many obvious issues that will need to be managed by GDP practices after the whole Covid 19 pandemic comes under control and how this process goes will be dependent on a number of Public Health factors such as a vaccine.

Once we do get more settled the question needs to be asked - what will Dentistry look like post Covid?

Firstly we will have had thousands of patients being ticked over with AAA, minimal temporary treatment and multiple courses of antibiotics. The massive disease burden this lack of proper attention will have caused to happen is unthinkable. Special concerns will be around patients with rampant caries, patients with chronic perio or even worse patients developing unseen, undiagnosed, malignant lesions

How long it will take to get back to something like normal routine dentistry is anybody's guess but one thing is for certain it will be a long time. There will also be the problem with risk averse patients who do not want to risk entering a close environment such as a dental surgery.

Contract reform will need to be revisited at the centre to give us something that enables practices to deliver whatever the future of dentistry looks like and that will take some time.

Locally we as your LDC Exec will be working with NHSE and yourselves to support practices getting back into normality (whatever that looks like!). I personally am highly motivated by this challenge as I know all too well how we as practitioners invest blood,sweat, tears and one heck of a lot of money into dental practices and the future direction of travel must enable practices to maintain the income they deserve

If you have any queries about anything don't hesitate to drop me an email

Just one more thing- I have to have a moan about our local council. Firstly the tip is closed so my weekly visits have had to cease . Bags of stuff are piling up waiting for the tip gates to open which will hopefully be soon. I would have thought that maintaining social distancing measures would be simple at the tip as there is plenty of room but obviously Wyre Council does not agree. To add to this the council have extended the interval between bin collections to ridiculous periods. A crazy decision in these stressful times when we are encouraged to practice scrupulous hygiene measures, which we did anyway, so that is not a problem for us. What is a problem is coping with the inevitable recycling nightmare as they have made it impossible to get rid of your plastic - moan over!

Onwards and Upwards!

Stay Safe,


Bernard Alston

Sec LASC LDC Executive