Monday, 30 September 2019

National Podcast Day: Features on the Hot Pulp & Under the Tooth

It's National Podcast Day! You may have seen I've previously been featured on the Health Meets Home Podcast, but recently I've had the pleasure of being featured on 2 other podcasts (dental this time!)....

Podcasting in action!

Podcast 1: Under The Tooth

After a long day at work in the summer I met the amazing Under The Tooth Team (Asha Thomson, Elyas Yonis and Sary Rahma) to record their first episode of their new Podcast series. They aim to share a sustainable podcast platform to connect and inspire dental professionals and their real life stories!

We chatted about so many different topics, from breaking down barriers for vulnerable people to accessing dentistry, the importance of work life balance, my different roles and of course my bunny rabbits!

Check out the episode below!

Podcast 2: Hot Pulp

A little different from the other 2 Podcasts I had done, the Hot Pulp is the YouTube extension of the Dentists of Insta page that Dr Jabir Kazi runs. The Podcast was steamed live on Instagram (after a few technical issues we got there in the end!) so that people could tune in and ask live questions which was very interactive! But don't worry you can check out the full episode on YouTube below.

Have to listened to either Podcast? Did you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 27 September 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT... Elected to a Seat on the BDA's Young Dentist Committee

From 12 candidates standing, earlier this month alongside a fellow candidate, I was elected to the BDA's Young Dentist Committee (YDC)... but what is the YDC?

What is the YDC?

The YDC is the committee that represents the voices of younger dentists, working to improve pay and conditions and supporting the development of clinical skills and confidence. Most recently, it's work has included tackling stress among the young profession and providing a network for younger dentists to share experiences. 

The YDC's roles include:

  • Considering the needs of young dentists during their career (up to 10 years post-graduation from first dental degree)
  • Act as a channel of communication within the BDA
  • Meets regularly and makes recommendations on behalf of young dentists
  • Identifies talent and provides continuity in the BDA

To read more about the YDC, see the BDA website

Why Did I Stand for a Seat?

Some of you who follow me know that I've just completed a Leadership and Management Fellowship with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer. During this I was given the opportunity not only to develop my leadership skills, but to also meet top dental leaders and policy makers. Many of these leaders were inspiring but I did notice something; many of these leaders were of the same background and generation. 

Many dental organisations such as the Royal Colleges, the BDA, the GDC just to name a few are recognising the importance of the younger profession's voice in having a say in how dentistry is delivered. I wanted to find a way to continue to try influence policy, politics and decision making and ensure the voice of my peers are heard. So when these vacant seats on the YDC came up this was a perfect opportunity!

A huge thank you to everyone who supported me and voted! I am super grateful and so excited for the first committee meeting coming up in October. 

To read more about the YDC election, check out this blog on the BDA

Do you have issues as a young dentist you'd like me to raise in the YDC meetings? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The GDC... Are They Really the Bad Guys?

Back in June I had the opportunity to visit the new General Dental Council's HQ in Birmingham to visit their dental fellow. Did this change my opinion of our infamous regulator...

Who are the GDC?

The General Dental Council is one of 9 Healthcare Regulators; as set out in the Health & Social Care Act 2012, all healthcare must be regulated. There are 110,000 registrants who the GDC regulates; dentists and dental care professionals. 

There are 4 roles of the regulator:
  1. Education of the profession i.e. setting and monitoring undergraduate/postgraduate curriculum
  2. Registration of health professionals
  3. Setting standards and CPD requirements 
  4. Fitness to Practice (FTP)

What is Shifting the Balance?

In 2016, more than 75% of the expenditure for the GDC was on FTP! As a result, the GDC has been working on 'Shifting the Balance' to address this. Now in 2019, this expenditure has reduced to around 50% as a result of investing in upstream prevention methods.

As part of Shifting the Balance, the GDC aims to:
  • Research into preparedness to practice, improve integration between dental schools and deaneries and promote better collaboration and communication
  • Improve the relationship the GDC has with undergraduates by becoming more involved with programs at universities
  • Evaluate CPD by quality rather than quantity; hence the recent change to enhanced CPD

The GDC continues to try reduce it's expenditure for example, recently moving their HQ up to Birmingham, but it still retains an office in Wimpole Street where FTP are held. 

What is FTP?

Fitness to Practice (FTP) is when a concern is raised about a GDC registrant and investigations are undertaken to see if they are safe to practice. 78% of cases are closed within 1 year.

You are less likely to get to FTP if you are:
  • Female
  • A DCP
  • Work outside of London
  • Are a young professional

Of 100 cases referred to the GDC:

  • 36% are closed at initial triage - within 24 hours
  • 24% are closed at assessment stage
  • 26% are closed at case evaluation
  • 14% are referred to practice committee hearing

Of the 14% referred to the hearing:

  • 15% of registrants are erased
  • 42% of registrants are suspended with review
  • 16% of registrants have conditions put on them
  • 7% of registrants are reprimanded
  • 13% of registrants fitness to practice is not impaired
  • 7% of facts are not factual

Hearings are public and are held at Wimpole street and other locations in London - often groups attend as part of study days of dental foundation training. Registrants are judged on whether FTP is currently impaired so if they show reflective practice and make changes following the incident, they are less likely to have an erasure. The GDC can also refer to NHS England if they have clinical concerns for them to investigate. 

So you can see in recent years there has been a shift in priorities for the GDC with a great emphasise on prevention and reducing unjustified escalation to FTP. There are plenty of challenges ahead in the future for the GDC, such as the fact that 23% of new GDC registrants are from the EU... what will happen after the dreaded 'B' word?!

What are your thoughts on the GDC and FTP? Let me know in the comments below!

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